The 1998 Raymond Williams Lecture Two Boston Unitarians: William Hazlitt and TS Eliot
Hay Festival 1998,
Hazlitt's father, The Reverend William Hazlitt, founded the first Unitarian Church in Boston in 1783. TS Eliot's grandfather became a member of that church, so Hazlitt and Eliot share a common Unitarian heritage. Though Eliot dismissed Hazlitt's literary criticism, he was in fact profoundly influenced by Hazlitt, and, for example, stole the concept of The Dissociation of Sensibility from an early essay by Hazlitt. The lecture will explore the similarities and differences between these two writers.