Lamb, Charles and Mary

(1764-1847)
   • Charles, the brother (1775-1834)
   Born in London, the son of John Lamb, a clerk of the Inner Temple, he was educated at Christ's Hospital, where he became friends with Samuel Taylor Coleridge (see entry) and Leigh Hunt (see Hunt, James Henry Leigh). From the age of fourteen he was a clerk at the South Sea Company, then from 1792 to 1822, a clerk at India House. From 1799 to 1802 he wrote for various journals. Coleridge included four of Lamb's sonnets in Poems on Various Subjects 1796, second edition 1796. In 1820 Lamb wrote a series of essays (under the pseudonym Elia) in London Magazine. He died from a fall and was buried in Edmonton churchyard. Some of his poetry publications: The Old Familiar Faces, 1789. Blank Verse by Charles Lloyd and Charles Lamb, 1798. John Woodvil, 1802 (a poetic tragedy). Specimens of English Dramatic Poets, with Notes by Charles Lamb, 1808. On an Infant Dying as Soon as It Was Born, 1828. Some of Charles's poems: "As When a Child," "Epitaph on a Dog," "Satan in Search of a Wife," "The Boy and the Snake," "The Triumph of the Whale," "The Young Catechist," "To John Lamb, Esq. of the South-Sea House."
   • Mary, the sister (1764-1847)
   Mary received little formal education, and from an early age she helped support the family and her invalid mother by doing needlework. Brother and sister both suffered bouts of mental illness; Mary killed their mother in 1796 and was cared for by Charles until he died. In 1807 Mary and Charles published Tales from Shakespear, a collection of prose adaptations of Shakespeare's plays, intended for children, of which Mary wrote the majority. In 1809 they published two collaborative works, Mrs. Leicester's School, a book of children's stories, for which she contributed the major part, and Poetry for Children. After Charles's death, Mary's mental health deteriorated, but she survived him by 13 years and was buried with Charles. Brother and sister co-operated in writing other books, and poems. Some of Mary's poems: "Dialogue Between a Mother and Child," "Helen; In Miss Westwood's Album," "Maternal Lady with the Virgin Grace," "Parental Recollections," "The Two Boys," "What is Love?" Poems by Charles and Mary: "Choosing a Name," "Cleanliness," "Envy," "Going into Breeches," "The First Tooth."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite DVD, 2006. English Poetry: Author Search. Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). Essays of Elia (http://www.angelfire.com/nv/mf/lamb/contents.html). I Sing of a Maiden: The Mary Book of Verse. Sister M. Therese, ed. Macmillan, 1947. Imagination's Other Place: Poems of Science and Mathematics. Helen Plotz, ed. Thomas Y. Crowell, 1955. The National Portrait Gallery (www.npg.org.uk). Romanticism. Duncan Wu, ed. Blackwell, 1994. The Brand-X Anthology of Poetry. William Zaranka, ed. Apple-Wood Books, 1981. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Home Book of Verse for Young Folks. Burton Egbert Stevenson, ed. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1929. The Oxford Anthology of English Literature Vol. I. Frank Kermode, and John Hollander, ed. Oxford University Press, 1973. The Oxford Book of Children's Verse. Iona Opie, and Peter Opie, ed. Oxford University Press, 1973. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000. The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb V. 5. G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1903.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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  • Lamb, Charles — born Feb. 10, 1775, London, Eng. died Dec. 27, 1834, Edmonton, Middlesex English essayist and critic. Lamb was employed as a clerk at East India House (headquarters for the East India Company) from 1792 to 1825. From 1796 he was guardian of his… …   Universalium

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  • Lamb,Charles — Lamb, Charles. Known as “Elia.” 1775 1834. British critic and essayist. With his sister Mary Ann Lamb (1764 1847) he wrote the children s book Tales from Shakespeare (1807). * * * …   Universalium

  • LAMB, CHARLES —    essayist and critic, born in London, and educated at Christ s Hospital, where he had Coleridge for school fellow; was for 35 years a clerk in the East India Company s office, on his retirement from which he was allowed a pension of £450; it… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

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  • Lamb, Mary Ann — ▪ British author born Dec. 3, 1764, London, Eng. died May 20, 1847, London       English writer, known for Shakespear, written with her brother Charles (Lamb, Charles).       Born into a poor family, Mary Lamb received little formal education.… …   Universalium

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