Leigh Hunt

English Poet, Journalist, and Editor

Around the wine-red mahogany table in Doughty Street friends raised their glasses to toast Dickens on his twenty-seventh birthday. Ainsworth and Forster, the other two members of the Cerberus Club, were there of course, and Tom Mitton, Browne, Dickens's mother and father, the latter bursting with pride and conviviality, Fanny and her personable husband Henry Burnett, Laman Blanchard, who had been editor of the True Sun in Dickens's days there, and Leigh Hunt, with his gentle grace and luminous eyes. Hunt found Dickens "as pleasant as some of the best things in his books," and exclaimed, "What a face is his to meet in a drawing-room! It has the life and soul in it of fifty human beings."

From Edgar Johnson, Charles Dickens: His Tragedy and Triumph