Quotation by John Cam Hobhouse

If the reviewing of books be ... "an ungentle craft," the making of them is, for the most part, a dishonest one—and that department of literature which ought to be entrusted to those only who are distinguished for their moral qualities is, not infrequently, in the hands of authors totally devoid of good taste, good feeling, and generous sentiment. The writers of Lives have, in our time, assumed a licence not enjoyed by their more scrupulous predecessors—for they interweave the adventures of the living with the memoirs of the dead; and, pretending to portray the peculiarities which sometimes mark the man of genius, they invade the privacy and disturb the peace of his surviving associates.
John Cam Hobhouse (1786–1869), British statesman. draft for a letter, Nov. 7, 1830. Quoted in Doris Langley Moore, The Late Lord Byron, ch. 11 (1961).

Hobhouse was referring to the publication of John Galt's Life of Lord Byron.
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