Bicentenary Celebrations for ‘The Liberal’

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16-17 SEPTEMBER 2022

The Liberal was a short-lived and ill-fated journal, edited by Leigh Hunt in Pisa and published by his brother John in London. It is often viewed as an enterprise which was falling apart before it even began. Shelley’s death, Moore’s abstention and Byron’s eventual disinterest doomed the project to just four numbers published between 1822 and 1823. However, The Liberal still represents an almost unprecedented collaboration between five canonical writers, providing the first home to two small masterpieces – Byron’s The Vision of Judgment and Hazlitt’s My First Acquaintance with Poets – and important ‘Verse and Prose from the South’ by the Shelleys and Leigh Hunt.

The Byron and Hazlitt Societies are collaborating on a bicentenary celebration of The Liberal, to be held in London on Friday 16 September and Saturday 17 September 2022.


4pm: Free guided walk from the site of John Hunt’s office at 22 Old Bond Street, where The Liberal and Liber Amoris were published, to the Art Workers’ Guild, 6 Queen Square, taking in various landmarks relating to Byron, Hazlitt, the Hunts, the Shelleys and their circles.

6.30pm for 7: At the Art Workers’ Guild, the Byron Society will host a lecture by Maria Schoina (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki): “The great mover of an intellectual revolution”: Byron and The Liberal


The traditional ‘Hazlitt Day School’ at University College London will focus on The Liberal, aiming to give a flavour of its literary merit and the resonance of the meanings of liberalism which evolved in the early 1820s. Contributors to the day include Roderick Beaton, Bernard Beatty, Will Bowers, Jon Cook, Lilla Maria Crisafulli, Richard Cronin, Gregory Dart, John Gardner, James Grande, Ian Haywood, Uttara Natarajan, Maria Schoina, Jane Stabler and Timothy Webb.

Further details, including links for registration to the various events, can be found on the websites of the Byron Society and the Hazlitt Society. For any other queries, e-mail