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Leigh Hunt
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Poet
    (October 19, 1784-August 28, 1859)
    Birth name is James Henry Leigh Hunt
    Wrote the poems, 'Jenny Kiss'd Me,' 'Abou Ben Adhem,' 'Cupid Swallowed'
    Wrote for the paper 'The Examiner'
    He and his brother were convicted of libel against the Prince Regent and sentenced to two years in prison.
    He suffered from anxiety and panic attacks.
    He was constantly in debt and always borrowing money from people including Lord Byron, with no intention of repaying them. One friend eventually got fed up and sued him.
    His six kids were extremely unruly. They annoyed Lord Byron to no end when his family stayed at Byron's Villa Diodati.
    He often spent money to cheer himself up, despite the fact he was already heavily in debt.
    He is credited with 'discovering' and influencing John Keats.
    Despite his money and health problems, he enjoyed life and tried to make the best out of bad situations.
    He was acquainted with Lord Byron, John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Charles Dickens.
    It is said that Charles Dickens modelled the careless, free-loading character Harold Skimpole from his book Bleak House after Leigh. Despite the similarities being very evident, Leigh was very hurt when he found out that Dickens denied he was the role model.
    When he was in prison he decorated his cell to make it more 'homey.' He painted the ceiling blue with white clouds and filled the place with flowers, further demonstrating his ability to make the best out of a bad situation.
    He continued to write for his paper while in prison.

Credit: Nights of Thunder


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