Henry Crabb Robinson (1775-1867) was a lawyer, journalist and indefatigable diarist, who was acquainted with almost all the important figures in English and European cultural circles. His surviving writings amount to almost one hundred volumes, from ...
which this selection was compiled in 1869. He studied at Jena where he became acquainted with Goethe and Schiller, and became foreign editor for The Times, despatching eyewitness reports on the Battle of Corunna. He travelled to Switzerland and Italy with Wordsworth, and his reminiscences of William Blake are an important source of information on that visionary. He attended Coleridge's public lectures, recording not only the content but anecdotes about the audiences. Other activities included helping found the Athenaeum Club and University College, London. The combination of anecdote and critical appraisal of the notables about whom he writes makes the diaries a valuable source for the culture of the nineteenth century.