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Charles Lamb and Elia - Charles Lamb

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Charles Lamb and Elia
Charles Lamb
Paperback / softback
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Charles Lamb (1775-1834), essayist, poet, humorist, critic, letterwriter and friend, has an enduring literary reputation. His early Tales from Shakespeare (1807), written in collaboration with his sister Mary, and Specimens of English Dramatic Poets (1808) were followed in 1820 by the first of his sixty-seven Essays of Elia published in the London Magazine, which have been at the heart of his literary reputation ever since. Reading these essays draws one into Lamb's circle of friends, sitting by his fireside and enjoying the company of the most personal of English essayists.

This book contains a representative selection from his writings-essays, dramatic criticism, verse and letters-which demonstrates his literary achievements, and is at the same time his autobiography.

J. E. MORPURGO was Professor in the School of English at the University of Leeds from 1969 to 1983. Author of histories, biographies and travel books, he has studied Charles Lamb and his contemporaries for many years, and has edited works by Leigh Hunt, Keats, Trelawny, Cobbett and Fenimore Cooper. The present volume, based on his much earlier book with the same title, has a larger selection of Lamb's writings, more extensive linking passages and a new introduction.

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Charles Lamb was born in London in 1775. He was educated at Christ's Hospital, where he formed his lifelong friendship with Coleridge. After school, he obtained a post at the South Sea House and was then promoted to the India House, where he worked until his retirement in 1825. In 1796 his sister Mary murdered their mother in a fit of insanity. Lamb was appointed her guardian, and cared for her for the rest of her life. He is best known for the essays he contributed to the London Magazine between 1820 and 1823, under the name of 'Elia', although he also wrote poems, plays, literary criticism and works for children. These include Tales from Shakespeare (1807), written in collaboration with Mary, and Specimens of English Dramatic Poets (1808). Lamb died in 1834.

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