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12th Hazlitt Day School and Society Lecture
This took place on Saturday 14th September 2013, at University College London.
A Select Hazlitt Bibliography
P.P. Howe (ed.), The Complete Works of William Hazlitt. 21 vols. London: Dent, 1930-4
This is the edition of choice for anyone seriously interested in Hazlitt. It contains texts of all the full-length volumes now attributed to him, and Howe’s annotations are still helpful (although they’re keyed to outdated editions, and contain some errors). The likelihood is that if you have access to this, it will probably be through a library; if you wish to acquire one, you’ll find that its price hasn’t declined with time: on the second-hand market, it’s not unknown for copies to sell for £2000. It has to be said that Howe’s edition isn’t quite ‘complete’; there are a number of essays that he doesn’t include here, and the type is quite small. If what you need is a good selected works that includes most of the book-length texts, see the next entry.
Duncan Wu (ed.), The Selected Writings of William Hazlitt. 9 vols. London: Pickering and Chatto, 1998
This nine-volume edition updates Howe’s texts, and his annotations, incorporating the scholarship of the seven decades since the appearance of Howe. Along with newly-edited texts of the major book-length works, it includes two hitherto unpublished essays (edited from manuscript). It includes an important introductory essay by Tom Paulin.
- For more information, go to the Pickering and Chatto website.
Jon Cook (ed.), William Hazlitt: Selected Writings. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998 (World’s Classics)
This is an excellent one-volume paperback selection, which divides its contents under subject headings such as ‘Politics’, ‘Culture’, ‘The Self’, ‘Heroes’, and ‘Art and Literature’. Cook provides a useful introduction, and helpful annotations.
- For further details go to the OUP website.
Tom Paulin and David Chandler (eds.), William Hazlitt: The Fight and Other Writings. London: Penguin, 1998 (Penguin Classics)
Another excellent one-volume selection, longer than Cook’s, with an introduction by Tom Paulin and some informative annotations by Chandler.
- For further details go to the Penguin Classics website.
Gregory Dart (ed.) William Hazlitt: Metropolitan Writings. Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2005
This volume collects together a number of Hazlitt's most important metropolitan essays, many of them not otherwise available in paperback. These essays include 'On Londoners and Country People', 'The Indian Jugglers', 'On the Want of Money' and 'On the Feeling of Immortality in Youth'. The edition also contains a critical introduction exploring Hazlitt's attitude to early nineteenth-century London life.
- For more information, go to the Carcanet Press website.
Duncan Wu (ed.), The Plain Speaker: The Key Essays. With an introduction by Tom Paulin. Oxford: Blackwell, 1998
Excellent paperback selection from one of Hazlitt’s most important works. Includes such important works as ‘On the Prose Style of Poets’, ‘On the Conversation of Authors’, ‘On Reason and Imagination’, and ‘On the Pleasure of Hating’. In addition it contains John Hamilton Reynolds’ hitherto unpublished description of Hazlitt and a newly-discovered essay, ‘A Half-Length’.
- For further details go to the Blackwell (now Wiley) website.
William Hazlitt, The Spirit of the Age. Grasmere: The Wordsworth Trust, 2004
This appears to be the only paperback edition of Hazlitt’s greatest work currently in print. It is lavishly illustrated with portraits of the various people described by Hazlitt, and is prefaced with an essay by Robert Woof, director of the Wordsworth Trust.
- Available only through the Wordsworth Trust.
Gregory Dart (ed.) Liber Amoris and Related Writings. Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2008
This edition brings together Liber Amoris, Hazlitt's notorious memoir of unrequited love, and some of the other essays that he was producing at the same time (1821-3). These include important pieces 'On the Fear of Death', 'On Great and Little Things', 'The Fight' and 'On the Knowledge of Character'. Prefaced by a critical essay and enhanced by extensive footnotes relating Hazlitt's texts to his letters from the period, this edition offers a detailed and compelling insight into the main creative crisis of Hazlitt's life
For further details go to the Carcanet Press website
Duncan Wu (ed.), New Writings of William Hazlitt. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007
This is a collection of 205 newly-discovered essays by Hazlitt, including major essays on the poetry of Wordsworth and Coleridge, a defence of Byron and Shelley from accusations of indecency, an analysis of the three trials of the Regency publisher and writer William Hone, and a series of reminiscences and anecdotes from his last years.
- For further details go to the OUP website.
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