Preparation[ edit ] Hazlitt was well prepared to write The Spirit of the Age. Hackney Collegewhere he studied for two years, was known for fostering radical ideas,  immersing him in the spirit of the previous age, and a generation later helping him understand changes he had observed in British society. Consequently, more than ever in need of money,  he was forced to churn out article after article for the periodical press. Cobbett", which first appeared in Table-Talk in and was later incorporated into The Spirit of the Age.
Preparation[ edit ] Hazlitt was well prepared to write The Spirit of the Age. Hackney Collegewhere he studied for two years, was known for fostering radical ideas,  immersing him in the spirit of the previous age, and a generation later helping him understand changes he had observed in British society.
He had already begun, before he was thirty, with an extensive critique of Malthus 's theory of population. Consequently, more than ever in need of money,  he was forced to churn out article after article for the periodical press.
Cobbett", which first appeared in Table-Talk in and was later incorporated into The Spirit of the Age. Following this proclivity, toward the end of Hazlitt developed the idea of writing "a series of 'characters' of men who were typical of the age".
After he had left England for a tour of the continent with his wife, that book, bearing the title The Spirit of the Age: In Paris, Hazlitt arranged to have an edition, with a somewhat different selection and ordering of articles, published there by A. Unlike either English edition, this one bore his name on the title page.
Finally, later in the same year, Colburn brought out the second English edition, with contents slightly augmented, revised, and rearranged but in many respects similar to the first edition.
No further editions would appear in Hazlitt's lifetime. Irving", "The Late Mr. Crabbe", "Sir James Mackintosh", "Mr. Leigh Hunt", and "Elia—Geoffrey Crayon".
An untitled section characterising James Sheridan Knowles concludes the book. V" in the May issue. The Paris edition, the only one to credit Hazlitt as the author, omitted some material and added some.
The essays in order were as follows: Crabbe" the portion on Campbell was here claimed by Hazlitt to be "by a friend", though he wrote it himself "Jeremy Bentham", "William Godwin", "Rev.
Burdett", "Lord Eldon and Mr. Canning" brought in from the 11 July issue of The Examinerwhere it bore the title "Character of Mr. Canning", this essay appeared only in the Paris edition "Mr. Cobbett" which had first appeared in Hazlitt's book Table-Talk in and "Elia".
This time the book concludes with two untitled sections, the first on "Mr. Leigh Hunt" as shown in the page headerthe second again on Knowles, with the page header reading "Mr. Wordsworth", "Sir James Mackintosh", "Mr. Leigh Hunt", and "Elia, and Geoffrey Crayon". Again, an account of Knowles completes the book.
The essay on George Canning, however, appeared only in the Paris edition. Jeremy Bentham Jeremy Bentham — was an English philosopherjuristand social and legislative reformer. He was a major proponent of Utilitarianismbased on the idea of "the greatest happiness of the greatest number", which he was the first to systematise, introducing it as the "principle of utility".
The two were not personally acquainted,  yet what Hazlitt observed enabled him to interweave personal observations into his account of the older man. Yet, also symptomatic of "the spirit of the age"—and the note Hazlitt strikes on the opening of his sketch—was the fact that Bentham had only a small following in England, yet enjoyed respectful celebrity in nations half a world away.
He meditates the coming ageThe Spirit of the Age (full title The Spirit of the Age: Or, Contemporary Portraits) is a collection of character sketches by the early 19th century English essayist, literary critic, and social commentator William Hazlitt, portraying 25 men, mostly British, whom he believed to represent significant trends in the thought, literature, and politics of his time.
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