A term apparently first used in Blackwood's Magazine in Oct. 1817, when Lockhart and his associates began a series of attacks ‘On the Cockney School of Poetry’. Leigh Hunt was the chief target, but Hazlitt and Keats were also objects of frequent derision. The Londoners, all of humble origin, were contrasted with the great writers, all of whom ‘have been men of some rank’. The virulence of the attacks, which described the writers as ‘the vilest vermin’ and of ‘extreme moral depravity’, was sustained over several years.
Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century).