Leigh Hunt's "Examiner" Examined: Comprising Some Account of That Celebrated Newspaper's Contents, &C. 1808-25 and Selections, by or concerning Leigh Hunt, Lamb, Keats, Shelley and Byron, Illustrating the Literary History of That Time, for the Most Part Previously Unreprinted

Leigh Hunt's "Examiner" Examined: Comprising Some Account of That Celebrated Newspaper's Contents, &C. 1808-25 and Selections, by or concerning Leigh Hunt, Lamb, Keats, Shelley and Byron, Illustrating the Literary History of That Time, for the Most Part Previously Unreprinted

Leigh Hunt's "Examiner" Examined: Comprising Some Account of That Celebrated Newspaper's Contents, &C. 1808-25 and Selections, by or concerning Leigh Hunt, Lamb, Keats, Shelley and Byron, Illustrating the Literary History of That Time, for the Most Part Previously Unreprinted

Leigh Hunt's "Examiner" Examined: Comprising Some Account of That Celebrated Newspaper's Contents, &C. 1808-25 and Selections, by or concerning Leigh Hunt, Lamb, Keats, Shelley and Byron, Illustrating the Literary History of That Time, for the Most Part Previously Unreprinted

Excerpt

For the origin of the Examiner (a momentous birthday) the natural and authentic spokesman is Leigh Hunt in his Autobiography (ed. 1860, ch. IX). Youthful as he was when it began to appear on January 3rd, 1808, he had already had a considerable amount of practice in journalism, particularly in the columns of The News and The Statesman, of which his brother John was, editor. John Hunt was senior to Leigh by nine years, and although notices of his life are scanty, doubtless through his own preference of privacy and impersonality, he was; by all accounts a man of profound sense of duty, intrepidity and good taste. Apparently he did not write much himself in his papers, supplying rather the direction and the working methods. With him, then, "in joint partnership," the dashing, careless, fiery-spirited, and fancifully spectacular young Leigh Hunt "set up the weekly paper of the 'Examiner' . . . . It was named after the 'Examiner' of Swift and his brother Tories." It was of course by no means a Tory organ, but Hunt adds in explanation of his title that he did not think of Swift's politics, but of the "wit and fine writing, which, in my youthful confidence, I proposed to myself to emulate." For a man of his years, Leigh Hunt not only had wit and fine writing in unusual abundance, but also a surprising amount of general reading and a wide range of human interest (certainly often lacking in depth). Such were the founders of the Examiner, while the object of the paper was chiefly "to assist in producing Reform in Parliament, liberality of opinion in general (especially freedom from superstition), and a fusion of literary taste into all subjects whatsoever. It began with being of no party; but Reform soon gave it one." In a general manner one may compare it with the talented . . .

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