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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
18th February 1917 Born today: Phyllis Calvert, London, actress (Man in Grey)
18th February 1901 Born today: Reginald Sheffield, London England, actor (Second Chance)
18th February 1775 Born today: Thomas Girtin, London, artist/watercolorist
Poet Leigh Hunt lived here
Satirical poet and essayist Hunt lived here in later life.
Location: 22 Upper Cheyne Row, Chelsea
Description: This is where poet James Henry Leigh Hunt (17841859) lived between 1833 to 1840.
His best work was as editor for his brother John's liberal magazine The Examiner between 1808 and 1821, writing violent lampoons on English society.
Prosecuted repeatedly, they were both imprisoned in 1812 for calling the Prince Regent (later George IV) a fat Adonis of 50.
Leigh Hunt and his almost permanent financial difficulties provided the inspiration for the impecunious Harold Skimpole in Charles Dickens' Bleak House.
At first Hunt did not recognize himself in the portrayal, but when it was pointed out to him, it upset him greatly.
He settled here relatively late in life with his wife and children. His autobiography refers to Chelsea's refreshing air and the 'quiet of the thoroughfare so full of repose'.
But on moving to Kensington a letter to Douglas Jerrold stated, It will do your kindly eyes good to see the nice study into which I have escaped out of the squalidities of Chelsea.