Leigh Hunt was a poet, familiar essayist, critic, political commentator, playwright, and translator. While he wrote well in all these genres and with occasional brilliance in some, his reputation as an essayist has best endured. The critical essays reveal a keen sense for what is good in literature; they quote extensively from the works being considered. The familiar essays are famous for their quiet good humor. They are seldom as polished as the essays of Charles Lamb or as perceptive as those of William Hazlitt; still, a few—such as “Getting Up on Cold Mornings” and “Deaths of Little Children”—continue to be anthologized as classics.