Joseph Robert Brighouse
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Joseph Robert Brighouse (15 July 1774 – 19 September 1821) was an English literary critic and bon viveur. He wrote for many publications but he is best known for his trenchant reviews in Mistress Huffington's Postulates and Th'Examiner. He was an early supporter of Jane Austen, who he saw as something of a trailblazer in the hitherto outré genre of zombie fiction. He was particularly noted for a new style of critique in which he awarded points for the amount of blood spilled and the most inventive mechanisms in which characters met their end. The British Library holds several of his review copies, wherein copious marginalia can be clearly observed. However these annotations are said to be so disturbing that to this day they may only be examined by persons who have obtained a suitable certificate from their psychiatrist.
Following a court case in which his review of the unexpurgated Ivanhoe was alleged to have caused
malicious irruption of the visceral humours
to several members of the nobility, he retired from literary reviewing and became a food critic. However this new career was not without controversy as he would frequently describe, in microscopic detail, the colour and texture of the regurgitations that he deposited in the street upon leaving the establishment under examination. He died of a surfeit of whelks in The Bloated Gut, although rumours persist that he was deliberately poisoned by the proprietor following an unfavourable report the week before.
Brighouse was a founder member, with Lord Byron, of the Hell's Teeth Club, a notorious gang of masked libertines who wreaked havoc on Regency society. However he was refused membership to the Bullingdon Club by dint of being
insufficiently revolting
to qualify for admission. He never married although he had numerous illegitimate offspring, as a result of which he is now generally reckoned to be the grandfather of Hozelock Ellis, the celebrated sexual reformer and lawncare expert.