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(19 October 1784 – 28 August 1859 / Southgate, London)

James Henry Leigh Hunt
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James Henry Leigh Hunt, best known as Leigh Hunt, was an English critic, essayist, poet and writer.

Early Life

Leigh Hunt was born at Southgate, London, where his parents had settled after leaving the USA. His father Isaac, a lawyer from Philadelphia, and his mother, Mary Shewell, a merchant's daughter and a devout Quaker, had been forced to come to Britain because of their loyalist sympathies during the American War of Independence. Hunt's father took holy orders and became a popular preacher, but he was unsuccessful in obtaining a permanent living. Hunt's father was then employed by James Brydges, 3rd Duke of Chandos as tutor to his nephew, James Henry Leigh ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''"No love," quothe he, "but vanity, sets love a task like
    that."''
    Leigh Hunt (1784-1859), British poet. The Glove and the Lions (l. 24). . . Favorite Poems Old and New. Helen Ferris, ed. (1957) Doubleday & Compan...
  • ''The laughing queen that caught the world's great hands.''
    Leigh Hunt (1784-1859), British poet. The Nile (l. 8). . . Oxford Book of Nineteenth-Century English Verse, The. John Hayward, ed. (1964; reprinte...
  • ''It flows through old hushed Egypt and its sands,
    Like some grave mighty thought threading a dream,''
    Leigh Hunt (1784-1859), British poet. The Nile (l. 1-2). . . Oxford Book of Nineteenth-Century English Verse, The. John Hayward, ed. (1964; reprin...
  • ''Green little vaulter in the sunny grass,''
    Leigh Hunt (1784-1859), British poet. To the Grasshopper and the Cricket (l. 1). . . Oxford Book of Nineteenth-Century English Verse, The. John Ha...
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Comments about James Henry Leigh Hunt

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  • Carol Linden (8/24/2013 9:31:00 AM)

    My step-father Tom Austin related a lovely memory about this poem. He was raised in a small Alabama mining town in the 1920's. His father died young, when Tom was a mere boy. One of his vivid memories of his father is miners gathered around the wood stove in a country store and listening to his father recite Abou Ben Adhem from memory. Tom could remember only the first two lines, but he never forgot the image of that scene, one of his few memories of his father. I can imagine small towns throughout America, perhaps the Scotch-Irish South in particuar, and even the Brisith Ises with similar scenes of poems being enjoyed through the oral tradition.

  • Mike Fine (10/10/2009 3:34:00 PM)

    I read the poem 'Abou Ben Adhem 65 years ago and found it to be the greatest..........Always felt it was written for and about me.....Mike Fine

  • Kerry Bartake (6/28/2009 3:55:00 PM)

    I find the poem, 'The Glove and the Lions', very amusing because human nature never really changes through the centuries. Here we have the arrogant, beautiful woman who is all wrapped up in herself and, refreshingly, we have the sensible hero who discerns that his girlfriend has serious flaws. We can all relate to this! Remember the song from about ten years ago, 'She ain't pretty, she just looks that way! '

  • Paul Metz (5/7/2006 10:40:00 AM)

    Spent 15 minutes trying to get to the text of Abou Ben Adam on your site. You should hire a better computer nerd of maybe the CIA to make life easier to download a poem.

    Paul Metz, MD

    P.S. I did not succeed..

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