William Hazlitt, 1999


Cook, John, ed.  Selected Writings, by William Hazlitt.  Oxford: Oxford UP, 1999.

Wu, Duncan, ed.  The Plain Speaker: The Key Essays, by William Hazlitt.  Introduction by Tom Paulin.  Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1999.

A selection from Hazlitt's last major work.


Bromwich, DavidHazlitt: The Mind of a Critic.  New Haven: Yale UP, 1999.

Reissue of the 1983 volume, this version has a new preface and a fresh bibliography.

Cox, JeffreyPoetry and Politics in the Cockney School: Keats, Shelley, Hunt and Their Circle.  Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998. 

"Jeffrey N. Cox refines our conception of 'second-generation' Romanticism by placing it within the circle of writers around Leigh Hunt that came to be known as the Cockney School. Offering a theory of the group as a key site for cultural production, Cox challenges the traditional image of the Romantic poet as an isolated figure by recreating the social nature of the work of Shelley, Keats, Hunt, Hazlitt, Byron, and others as they engaged in literary contests, wrote poems celebrating one another, and worked collaboratively on journals and other projects.  Cox also recovers the work of neglected writers such as John Hamilton Reynolds, Horace Smith, and Cornelius Webb as part of the rich social and cultural context of Hunt's circle.  This book not only demonstrates convincingly that a Cockney School existed, but shows that it was committed to putting literature in the service of social, cultural, and political reform."  And one might add to this reasonably accurate and comprehensive dustjacket description that Cox implicity reorganizes the now conventional way of arranging the later Romantic writers into various author-centered "circles"—e.g. "The Shelley Circle"—arguing instead for the designation of a distinct, unified, and prolific literary-cultural "School."

Davies, Damian Walford and Laurent Châtel.  "'A Mad Hornet': Beckford's Riposte to Hazlitt."  ERR 10.4 (Fall 1999): 452-79.

The authors point out that Hazlitt's negative commentaries on Beckford's Fonthill collection have been quite well documented, but that Beckford's response to this criticism has been unknown.  Relying on references in the correspondence of the painter Ange Denis Macquin and on Beckford's annotations to Hazlitt's Table Talk, Davies and Châtel contend that not only did Beckford see Hazlitt's original 1822 articles but that the marginalia in Beckford's copy of Table Talk "must now be seen to stand as a fascinating, and surprisingly restrained, riposte manquée" (455).  The article presents numerous transcriptions from the primary sources. N. B.: Four illustrations that were to be published with this article were mistakenly omitted from the journal. The illustrations appear in ERR 11.1 (Winter 2000), pp. 97-99.

Fulford, TimRomanticism and Masculinity: Gender, Politics, and Poetics in the Writings of Burke, Coleridge, Cobbett, Wordsworth, De Quincey, and Hazlitt.  New York: St. Martin's P, 1999.

An extended consideration—in both literary and more broadly social and political contexts—of the notion of "manliness."  The book is clearly relevant in studies of such Romantic-era gender issues as the place of Romantic women writers and the status of such "effeminate" writers as the Della Cruscans or even of Hunt and Keats.  The chapter headings offer a reasonably sound guide to Fulford's interests and argument:  1. Some Versions of Masculinity in Romanticism; 2. Burke: The Gendering of Power; 3. Coleridge in the 1790s: "Lord of thy Utterance"?; 4. "Manly Reflection": Masculinity in Coleridge's Criticism; 5. Sexual Politics: Burke, Coleridge and Cobbett; 6. Wordsworth: The "Time Dismantled Oak?"; 7. De Quincey and Hazlitt: To Have and Have Not the Power. 

Koenigsberger, Kurt M.  "Liberty, Libel, and Liber Amoris: Hazlitt on Sovereignty and Death."  SIR 38.2 (Summer 1999): 281-310.

This theoretically nimble essay focuses on the slippery representations of self and identity in Hazlitt's Liber Amoris.  Hazlitt's text plays with this instability of representation, teasing it into an ironic and unstable foundation for genre itself: "the characteristic that would distinguish confessional from fiction and demarcate genre depends upon a fixed relation between Hazlitt and the subject of his narrative, a relationship which is never firmly established" (283).

Lapp, Robert KeithContest for Cultural Authority: Hazlitt, Coleridge, and the Distresses of the Regency.  Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1999.

Lapp focuses on Hazlitt's satirical reviews of Coleridge published between 1816 and 1818.  In so doing, Contest for Cultural Authority asserts that Hazlitt's reviews were part of the broader post-Waterloo political debate and that they constitute Hazlitt's criticism of what he took to be Coleridge's conservatism.  The Hazlitt-Coleridge debate thus becomes the opening into a discussion of the complex dynamic of literature, politics, and culture.

Mahoney, Charles.  "Upstaging the Fall: Coriolanus and the Spectacle of Romantic Apostasy."  SIR 38.1 (Spring 1999): 29-50.

The essay focuses on Hazlitt's writing on the figure of Coriolanus, a figure remarkable for its inherent political instability.  The drama explores the question of the relationship between poetry and politics, and, as Mahoney writes, "no reader is more preoccupied with this question than Hazlitt, whose writing during this period is riddled with his attempts to formulate its implications for contemporary poetry[.]" 

Mahoney, Charles.  “Liber Amoris: Figuring Out the Coquette.”  ERR 10.1 (Winter 1999): 23-52.

Mahoney presents a close analysis of Hazlitt’s biographically-inspired preoccupation with “coquettes.”  For Mahoney, Hazlitt’s experience in striving to know some coquette becomes itself the figure of a kind of Romantic striving, inevitably futile, to identify with some Other—a figure of failing desire.  The epistemological attempt to fully grasp the figurative is doomed from the outset, and thus “we run the risk of wearing ourselves out, like Hazlitt, in the name of a futile attempt to arrest an always absent other, to unriddle that which we already understand to be irrecuperably riddled with the errors attendant upon la folie d’amour” (27).

Purkayastha, Mali.  "Hazlitt on Hogarth: A Problem of Perspective."  N&Q 46.1 (March 1999): 31-33.

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