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conversationist

Henry Luttrell (wit)

Henry Luttrell (c. 1765 - 19 December 1851), was an English wit and writer of society verse. He was the illegitimate son of Henry Lawes Luttrell, 2nd Earl of Carhampton.

Henry Luttrell secured a seat in the Irish House of Commons in 1798 and a post in the Irish government, which he commuted for a pension. Introduced into London society by the duchess of Devonshire, his wit made him popular. Soon he began to write verse, in which the foibles of fashionable people were outlined.

In 1820, he published his Advice to Julia, of which a second edition, altered and amplified, appeared in 1823 as Letters to Julia in Rhyme. This poem, suggested by the ode to Lydia in the first book of Horace's Odes, was his most important work. His more serious literary contemporaries nicknamed it "Letters of a Dandy to a Dolly."

In 1827 in Crockford House, he wrote a satire on the high play then in vogue. Byron characterized him as "the best sayer of good things, and the most epigrammatic conversationist I ever met "; Sir Walter Scott wrote of him as "the great London wit," and Lady Blessington described him as the one talker "who always makes me think." Luttrell died in London on 19 December 1851.


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