William Hazlitt (1778-1830) was born at Maidstone. He was the son of a Unitarian minister. His father has strong liberal views which were inherited by the son. Most of his youth was spent near Shrewsbury. He came under the influence of S.T. Coleridge and chose writing as his career. He was introduced to other literally persons by Charles Lamb who became his friend in London.
Hazlitt started his career as a prolific journalist, parliamentary reported, dramatic and literary critic, essayist and lecturer. He showed his concern for his country and was supporter of the French Revolution.
He was married to Sarah Stoddard in 1808. Later on in 1819 he fell in love with Sarah Walker which resulted into some kind of insanity. In 1882 he got divorce from his wife. In 1823 he was arrested for debts. In 1824 he was married to Isabella Bridgewater.
After 1812 he wrote profusely for various periodicals including Edinburgh Review. His writings turned from political journalism to literary criticism and essay.