English writer and essayist William Hazlitt.

William Hazlitt

(1778 - 1830)

Having spent three years of his childhood in America, William Hazlitt around the age of eight observed to his father, “I think for my part that it would have been a great deal better if the white people had not found it out.” He tried his hand at painting, encouraged by Charles Lamb and William Wordsworth, but in 1805 he published his first book, On the Principles of Human Action. Over the next decade, Hazlitt established himself as an important essayist, writing on art, politics, and drama. Dying penniless after surviving two divorces, a ruinous love affair, and the scorn of friends, he reportedly chose for his last words, “Well, I’ve had a happy life.” Following his death, his landlady is said to have hid his body under the furniture while she tried to rent out his room.

All Writing

If the world were good for nothing else, it is a fine subject for speculation.

—William Hazlitt, 1823

Voices In Time

1818 | London

Perpetual Motion

William Hazlitt on the contradictions of fashion. More

Anyone who has passed through the regular gradations of a classical education, and is not made a fool by it, may consider himself as having had a very narrow escape.

—William Hazlitt, 1821

The soul of a journey is liberty, perfect liberty, to think, feel, do just as one pleases. We go on a journey chiefly to be free of all impediments and of all inconveniences—to leave ourselves behind, much more to get rid of others.

—William Hazlitt, 1822

Life is the art of being well deceived.

—William Hazlitt, c. 1817

Voices In Time

1823 | England

Painted Wood

William Hazlitt dismantles the world of make-believe.More

Issues Contributed