Hunt, Thornton Leigh (1810-1873)


Hunt, Thornton Leigh (1810-1873)


Thornton Leigh Hunt was a journalist and editor, as well as a very close friend of George Henry Lewes, close enough that Lewes named his second child after him. In 1850, the two men co-founded a weekly newspaper, the Leader, to which George Eliot later contributed articles, often as substitutes for ones Lewes was slated to write. Lewes's wife Agnes had a prolonged affair with Thornton Hunt, which resulted in four children. Lewes had full knowledge of the affair with Hunt, who was also married; in fact, Lewes gave the children his name and even registered two of Hunt's children as his own, which effectively condoned the affair. George and Agnes Lewes separated but never sought a divorce. Though Lewes and Hunt had disagreed about which of them should support Agnes and the children, Lewes continued to send them money before and after Hunt's death in 1873.


George Eliot Archive, edited by Beverley Park Rilett,