William Hazlitt

I began to read my Hazlitt. I was astonished. I found a solid writer, without pretentiousness, courageous to speak his mind, sensible and plain, with a passion for the arts that was neither gushing nor forced, various, interested in the life about him, ingenious, sufficiently profound for his purposes, but with no affectation of profundity, humorous, sensitive. And I liked his English. It was natural and racy, eloquent when eloquence was needed, easy to read, clear and succinct, neither below the weight of his matter nor with fine phrases trying to give it a specious importance. If art is nature seen through the medium of a personality, ‘Hazlitt is a great artist.’ – Somerset Maugham, The Gentleman In The Parlour

Table-Talk; or, Original Essays Vol. 1 – read online
Vol. 2 – read online
The Plain Speaker: Opinions on Books, Men and Things Vol. 1 – read online
Vol 2. – read online
The Spirit of the Age, or Contemporary Portraits (1825) – read online
Men and Manners: Sketches and Essays – read online
Political Essays, with Sketches of Public Characters – read online

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