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Leigh Hunt letter to Charles Ollier


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

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English essayist and poet Leigh Hunt was born on October 19, 1784, in Southgate, Middlesex, England. Hunt began to write poetry when he was still a boy, some of which his father published in an 1801 volume titled

Juvenilia. In 1808, Hunt and his brother John started the Liberal newspaper the Examiner, for which Hunt wrote on various subjects for the next thirteen years. One of Hunt's pieces for the Examiner, a critical article about the Prince Regent, led to a libel conviction and a two-year prison sentence in 1813. While writing for the Examiner, Hunt also continued to write poetry, publishing several volumes of poems, including The Story of Rimini in 1816.

In addition to his own work, Hunt was also the friend and publisher of many other literary figures of his day, including George Gordon Byron, John Keats, and Percy Bysshe Shelley. Through these friendships, Hunt influenced the English Romantics. Hunt passed away on August 28, 1859.

"Hunt, Leigh." Hutchinson Encyclopedia of Biography. Oxford: Helicon, 2000. Available online via the Biography Reference Bank at (accessed January 27, 2009).

Publisher, writer, and editor Charles Ollier was born on May 4, 1788, in the parish of St. James, Bath, England. Ollier moved from Bath to London at the age of fourteen to become a junior clerk at a London banking house. While continuing his work and apprenticeships in the field of banking, Ollier became interested in the London literary, theatrical, and musical scene.

In 1810, Ollier wrote his first piece of theatrical criticism for the

Examiner, a Liberal newspaper published by poet and essayist Leigh Hunt. Through his friendship with Hunt, Ollier became acquainted with other prominent artists and authors living in London.

In 1817, Ollier entered into business with his younger brother James as a publisher, bookseller, stationer, and manager of a circulating library. Ollier's earlier introductions to individuals in the London literary scene via Leigh Hunt helped the brothers to publish the first two books bearing the C. and J. Ollier imprint. These works, John Keats's

Poems and Percy B. Shelley's Proposal for Putting Reform to the Vote throughout the Kingdom, were published in March of 1817, and marked the beginning of Ollier's influence as a publisher. The brothers' business went bankrupt during the winter of 1822–1823 and Ollier was forced to cease publishing.

From 1825 until 1839, Ollier worked as a reader and advisor for other publishing firms, until, in 1846, he began publishing again under his own name. Unfortunately, this second publishing endeavor would fail just three years later, in January of 1849. Though Ollier struggled to achieve financial success with his publishing efforts, his work was nevertheless highly influential. In addition to his career as a publisher, Ollier also wrote and published a number of his own works. Ollier died on June 5, 1859.

Robinson, Charles E. "Ollier, Charles (1788–1859)." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. Available online at (accessed January 27, 2009).

In this brief letter, written by Leigh Hunt to publisher Charles Ollier on July 18, 1856, Hunt requested the loan of any sonnets written by Bryan Waller Procter (Barry Cornwall).

Hunt specifically inquired after a copy of the

Literary Pocket Book, an annual which Charles Ollier had published between 1818 and 1822, which he thought might contain some of Procter's sonnets.

Box 62, F0905: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0099 manuscript boxes.

Purchase, 2011.

Processed and encoded by Anita Wellner, September 2011. Further encoded by George Apodaca, November 2015.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2015 November 11
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Collection Inventory

Leigh Hunt letter to Charles Ollier.
Box 62 Folder F0905

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