John Hamilton Reynolds (1794–1852)
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John Hamilton Reynolds’s career began with a series of precocious publications that drew the respectful attention of Lord Byron (who characterized him as ‘a youngster, and a clever one’), and created a stir leading to Leigh Hunt’s bracketing his name with those of Shelley and Keats. Several of his contributions to The Inquirer, or Literary Miscellany, The Champion (a Sunday newspaper), The Yellow Dwarf, the influential London Magazine, and his authorship of a large number of literary notices for the Edinburgh Review, the Retrospective Review, and the Westminster Review, saw print before he reached the age of 20. His personality charmed many who knew him and worked with him (Hazlitt, Hood, De Quincey, and Lamb, among many other journalists and critics). Above all, the services he rendered to the younger Keats – the greater part of Keats’s finest literary criticism may be found in letters Keats wrote to Reynolds, who had recognized his genius immediately – have earned him an important place in the hierarchy of Romantic writers. On his gravestone the telling phrase, ‘The Friend of Keats’, was added (in 1917, as part of a cemetery clean-up).
KeywordsLiterary Criticism Yellow Dwarf English Poetry Literary Notice Romantic Writer
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