by Charles Lamb
Charles Lamb (1775 – 1834) was a popular English author of works for both adults and children. His siblings were fairly spread out in age, so his elder sister Mary, 11 years older, became his closest friend. She taught him to read and would later author books with Charles. Lamb was educated throughout his life, enjoying a lifelong friendship with his first schoolmistress, Mrs. Reynolds. He went on to attend such institutions as Christ’s Hospital, a boarding school. Lamb was considered to be very popular and well-liked, however, he had a speech impediment, and it was this stuttering that kept him out of going onto college. Instead, Lamb worked as a clerk in several offices, eventually remaining with the British East India Company.
Lamb also took care of his sister Mary after she killed her mother in a fit of madness. Rather than allow her to remain imprisoned for life, Lamb worked to ensure she had been cared for in an asylum, and then was allowed to return home and live with Lamb. Despite a few attempts to court women to marriage, he was unsuccessful, and remained a lifelong bachelor. He and his sister enjoyed a fruitful social life, participating in many English salons. Lamb enjoyed success as a writer, particularly with his prose works, and his famous, Essays of Elia series, and the children’s work, Tales from Shakespeare that was written with his sister.
This new edition is dedicated to Peter Dozal, with best wishes for his studies.