| IN THE COMPANY OF WILLIAM HAZLITT|
Thoughts for the 21st Century
by Maurice Whelan
William Hazlitt - essayist, critic, associate of Coleridge and Wordsworth, died in a Soho lodging house in 1830 at the age of 52. His final words, 'Well, I've had a happy life,' astonished his listeners, for his life- had not been easy, and pain and suffering were his frequent companions.
Whelan imaginatively takes hold of his subject and firmly places him at the beginning of the 21st century, approaching his subject from a fresh point of view. Not only is Hazlitt presented as a great investigator of the inner world and as a precursor to Freud but also as going beyond the founder of psychoanalysis and anticipating modern developments in that field.
The author argues strongly for Hazlitt to be taken seriously as a thinker and writer of extraordinary relevance to our present world, a true spirit for our age. Hazlitt is alive and well in the 21st Century: anthologies of his writings are available from Penguin, Oxford, and others; he features widely on reading lists of 19th century English literature. In his own lifetime and since, he was regarded as one of the greatest writers of prose in the English language, who drew on experiences in County Cork, in Philadelphia, Boston and London; a man of diverse experience including that of being imprisoned, briefly, for debt. He was also a thorn in the side of the establishment: opposing slavery, critical of Wordworth's poetry glorifying war, defending civil liberties, arguing against the British dispossession of Ireland and for Catholic Emancipation.
"Whelan writes engagingly in a spirit of dialogue with both Hazlitt and the reader, so the book is not only for scholars and students. It is both an excellent introduction to Hazlitt and also a distinguished contribution to scholarship. " R.S. White, Professor of English at University of Western Australia.
234x156mm, ix+206pp, includes notes, bibliography, index.
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