James Hunt


James Hunt followed in the footsteps of his father Thomas Hunt, and worked to cure stammering. After several years of medical study, he established his own practice in speech and voice disorders. In 1854, when he was not yet twenty-one years of age, he published a book that was destined to be a long-lasting and popular book on stuttering. It was to have seven editions. His private practice extended to many countries in Europe. Among his patients were Charles Kingsley and Lewis Carroll.

Hunt published a number of books, besides tis one on stuttering. Included in his work were a manual of the philosophy of voice and speech and the art of public speaking (London, 1859) and another book on Stammering and stuttering: Their nature and treatment. (London, 1861; 7th edition, 1870).

Hunt founded the Anthropological Society in London in 1863 and became its first president.

The Hunt Family

James Hunt's father, Thomas Hunt (1802-1851), a prominent London doctor took the cure of stammering to be his life's work (Rockey, p. 169).

James Hunt's nephew was William Halse Rivers Rivers-yes, there are two Rivers in his name. When Rivers was a young boy, his father, a cleric, took over the speech therapy practice of his deceased brother-in-law, James Hunt, later updating Hunt's definitive text, Stammering and Stuttering, Their Nature and Treatment..

Writings of James Hunt, arranged chronologically

Hunt, J. (1854). Treatise on the cure of stammering with a general account of the various systems for the cure of the impediments of speech, and a notice of the life of the late Thomas Hunt.

Hunt, J. (1858). A few words on impediments of speech, etc. (2nd edition) (Hastings)

Hunt, J. (1859). A manual of the philosophy of voice and speech, especially in relation to the English language and the art of public speaking. London: Longman.

Hunt, J. (1860). Stammering. Encyclopedia Britannica (8th edn) Edinburgh: Adam & Charles Black, Vol 20, 533-535.

Hunt, J. (1861, 1863, 1870). Stammering and stuttering: Their nature and treatment. London, UK: Longman.

Hunt, J. (1964). Negroes place in nature a paper read before the London Anthropological Society (1864) http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/aapchtml/aapchome.html

Writings about James Hunt

Berry, Mildred F. (1965). Historical vignettes of leaders in speech and hearing: III Stuttering. ASHA, 7, 78-79.

Fryer, Peter. (1984) Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain. London:Pluto Press.

Rockey, D. (1980) Speech disorder in the nineteenth century Britain. London: Croom Helm.