A poet, critic, and journalist who began publishing in his teens, Leigh Hunt grew up to write for, and edit both the best and worst journals in England in the 19th century. In 1808, He and his brother established The Examiner, a journal that lasted 78 years and became a forum for some of the best writers of the century. He also founded the fantastically unsuccessful political journal, The Liberal, that never got off the ground, and the Tatler, which failed after only two years. His writing built his life and broke it, and built it again, giving him notoriety and success on the one hand, and poverty and imprisonment on the other. His close associations with great writers like Hazlitt, Lamb, Shelley, and Byron, along with his own writings attest to his ability to recognize and create great literature, but at the same time, his many public blunders call into question his judgment and tact. Toward the end of his life, greater financial security afforded him more time to write and he produced some of his best work. Between 1840 and his death in 1859, Hunt produced several successful plays, translations, memoirs, multi-volume collections, poems, as well as an autobiography.
A blazing fire, a warm rug, candles lit and curtains drawn, the kettle on for tea, and finally, the cat before you, attracting your attention—it is a scene which everybody likes, unless he has a morbid aversion to cats.
The beauty of this unlimited power of suggestion in writing is, that you may take up the driest and most commonplace of all possible subjects, and strike a light out of it to warm your intellect and your heart by.
A window is a frame for other pictures besides its own.
Patrick Madden's New Book
Quotidiana site founder Patrick Madden has just published a book of his own personal essays, including pieces formerly published in the Best American Spiritual Writing and Best Creative Nonfiction anthologies.
If you enjoy the classical essays on this site, you'll enjoy these contemporary ruminations as well. Soon there'll be a web page here with further information, but for now, you can find out more (and perhaps purchase a copy) at Amazon.com.
"Patrick Madden is an essayist of verve, passion, wit, and dependable moral compass. Quotidiana drew me in powerfully, from page to page and from pleasure to pleasure." —Ian Frazier
Changes are happening beneath the hood of Quotidiana. Sign up for our Facebook group to stay up to date on site and essay news.
Quotidiana is an online anthology of "classical" essays, from antiquity to the early twentieth century. All essays and images are in the public domain. Commentaries are copyrighted, but may be used with proper attribution. Special thanks to the BYU College of Humanities and English Department for funding, and to Joey Franklin and Lara Burton, for tireless research assisting.