Great Lives

Ben Miller on William Hazlitt



Actor, comedian and Author Ben Miller discusses the colourful, complicated and uncompromising life of William Hazlitt. Born in 1778 William Hazlitt is considered one of the greatest critics and essayists in the history of the English language, but for centuries, his life and works were lost in the shadows. He was an advocate of universal rights and civil liberties, and a fierce opponent of pomp and power. He railed against slavery, believed strongly in the power of the imagination, and said, 'The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves'. But he wasn't without his own demons and fell out of public favour. Rumours of gambling, sex addiction and adultery challenged his reputation. In recent years scholars have debated his life and works and a renewed interest in his essays has emerged. Ben Miller plays Lord Featherington in Bridgerton, and he wrote and starred in The Armstrong and Miller Show on Channel Four. With expert contributions from Dr Uttara Nataragen, a foun