was editor of Foreign Quarterly Review, 1842–3, the Daily News, 1846, and the Examiner, 1847–55. He was the literary associate and close friend of Leigh Hunt, C. Lamb, W. S. Landor, Bulwer‐Lytton, and Dickens: from 1837 on he read in MS or proof everything Dickens wrote. His earliest biographical work, Lives of Eminent British Statesmen (1836–9) in Lardner's Cyclopedia, was followed by various political lives partly reprinted as Historical and Biographical Essays (1858). His popular literary biographies include Life and Adventures of Oliver Goldsmith (1848; rev. 2 vols, 1854), Landor (2 vols, 1869), Dickens (3 vols, 1872–4), and the first volume of a scholarly life of Swift (1875). He is recognized as the first professional biographer of 19th‐cent. England. Landor, Dickens, and Carlyle appointed him their literary executor.
Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century).