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CONTENTS.

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INTRODUCTION

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СпAP.
I.-THE AUTHOR'S PROGENITORS

1 II.-CHILDHOOD

27 III.-SCHOOL-DAYS

49 IV.-SCHOOL-DAYS (continued)

81 V.-YOUTH

106 VI.-PLAYGOING AND VOLUNTEERS

116 VII.-Essays IN CRITICISM

136 VIII.-SUFFERING AND REFLECTION

159 LX.-THE “EXAMINER"

170 X-LITERARY ACQUAINTANCE

177 XI.-POLITICAL CHARACTERS

193 XII.-LITERARY WARFARE

210 XIII.- THE REGENT AND TIIE “EXAMINER"

225 XIV.-IMPRISONMENT

230 XV.-FREE AGAIN-SHELLEY IN ENGLAND

245 XVI.-KEATS, LAMB, AND COLERIDGE

266 XVII.-VOYAGE TO ITALY

282 XVIII.--RETURN TO FIRST ACQUAINTANCE WITH LORD BYRON AND THOMAS MOORE

305 XIX.--LORD BYRON IN ITALY-SHELLEY-PISA

310 XX.-GENOA

339

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CHAP.

PAGE XXI.-FLORENCE-Bacchus IN TUSCANY—THE VENUS DE' MEDICI—AND ITALY IN GENERAL

359 XXII.—RETURN TO ENGLAND

390 XXIII.- AT HOME IN ENGLAND

401 XXIV.-LITERARY PROJECTS

410 XXV.-PLAY-WRITING-CONCLUSION

425 XXVI.-LIFE DRAWING TOWARDS ITS CLOSE

442 POSTSCRIPT

451

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INTRODUCTION

BY THE AUTHOR'S ELDEST SON.

Tuis edition of the Autobiography was revised by Mr. Leigh Hunt, and brought down to the present year by his own hand. He had almost completed the passages which he intended to add; but he had left some portions which were marked for omission in a state of doubt. From the manner in which the work was written, points of interest here and there were passed over indistinctly or omitted altogether, and some inaccuracies were overlooked in the re-perusal. In a further revision by the writer's eldest son, several obscurities have been cleared away, inaccuracies have been corrected, and omissions have been supplied. The interpolated 'passages, whether in the text or in notes, are distinguished by being included in brackets.

In the Preface to the earlier edition, the Author avowed that he felt a difficulty in having to retrace a life which was marked by comparatively little incident, and was necessarily, therefore, mainly a retrospect of his own writings. Another difficulty, of which he was evidently conscious only through its effect in cramping his pen, lay in an excess of scruple when he approached personal matters. In the revisal of this second edition, however, the lapse of time had in some degree freed him from restraint; and while the curtailments necessary to compress the bulk of the volume have been made principally in the more detailed portions of the literary retrospect, the additions have tended to increase the personal interest of the text. The work is relieved of some other portions, because they may be found in his collected writings, or because the subject matter to which they refer is out of date. The result of the alterations is, that the biographical part of the volume is brought more closely together, while it is presented with greater fulness and distinctness.

The reader of this Autobiography will find it less a relation of the events which happened to the writer, than of their impression on himself, and the feelings which they excited, or the ideas which they prompted. This characteristic of the writing is in a great degree a characteristic of the man, and thus the book reflects his own life more than on a first judgment it might be supposed to do. His whole existence and his habit of mind, were essentially literary. If it were possible to form any computation of the hours which he expended severally in literary labour and in recreation, after the manner of statistical comparisons, it would be found that the largest portion of his hours was devoted to hard work in the seclusion of the study, and that by far the larger portion of the allotted “recreation” was devoted to reading, either in the study or in the society of his family. Those who knew him best will picture him to themselves clothed in a dressing-gown, and bending his head over a book or over the desk. At some periods of his life he rose early, in order that he might get to work early; in other periods he rose late, because he sat over the desk very late. For the most part, however, he habitually came down “ too late ” to breakfast, and was no sooner seated sideways at the table than he began to read. After breakfast he repaired to his study,

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