The Strangeness of Wordsworth

William Wordsworth: A Life

by Stephen Gill
The diarist Henry Crabb Robinson records a conversation in which William Blake, after decrying Wordsworth’s naturalism, represented him “as a Pagan, but still with great praise as the greatest poet of the age.” In this assessment of Wordsworth’s stature almost all the other major literary figures of his own and …

The Keenest Critic

Hazlitt: The Mind of a Critic

by David Bromwich
William Hazlitt at first planned to follow his father into the Unitarian ministry, became instead a painter of portraits, then turned to writing on philosophy, economics, and politics. Not until his mid-thirties did he discover his vocation as a public lecturer and prolific contributor to periodicals. In the twenty years …