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“It is a dangerous thing to make presents to poets”

Special Collections has recently acquired a new letter to add to the Brewer-Leigh Hunt Collection.  This letter, written by Leigh Hunt to Vincent Novello in 1816, highlights Hunt’s close relationship with the noted composer and serves as a primary example of Hunt’s early correspondence.  In it, Hunt talks of visiting Novello and of the gifts ladies send him, to which he declares “…it is a dangerous thing to make presents to poets.”  Hunt’s extensive correspondence reveals an intimate knowledge of literary, artistic, political, and religious ideas circulating in the first half of nineteenth-century Britain. Visit the digital collection Leigh Hunt Letters to learn more about Hunt’s life and career, and to take a closer look at this letter as well as over 1600 other examples of Hunt’s extensive correspondence.  The letter is reproduced below.  – Anne Covell, Robert A. Olson Fellow 2008-2010, Special Collections & University Archives