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Brings together the prose writings of the great early nineteenth-century essayist Charles Lamb, whose shrewd wit and convivial style have endeared him to generations of readers. This title discusses how his tragic life and sainted reputation, caring for his mentally ill sister Mary, belied the quality of his work. About This Item We aim to show you accurate product information. Manufacturers, suppliers and others provide what you see here, and we have not verified it. See our disclaimer. This selection brings together the best prose writings of the great early nineteenth-century essayist Charles Lamb, whose shrewd wit and convivial style have endeared him to generations of readers.

These pieces include early discussions of Hogarth and Shakespeare; masterly essays written under the pen-name 'Elia' that range over such subjects as drunkenness, witches, dreams, marriage and the joy of roast pig; and letters to Lamb's circle of contemporaries, among them Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth.


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Wryly amused by the world, allusive, searching and endlessly inventive, these are the essential works of a master of English prose. In his introduction Adam Phillips discusses how Charles Lamb's tragic life and sainted reputation, caring for his mentally ill sister Mary, belied the quality of his work.

Selected Prose

This edition also includes a biographical index of Lamb's correspondents. Lamb enjoyed a rich social life and became part of a group of young writers that included William Hazlitt, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron and Samuel Taylor Coleridge with whom he shared a lifelong friendship. Lamb never achieved the same literary success as his friends but his influence on the English essay form cannot be underestimated and his book, Specimens of the English Dramatic Poets is remembered for popularising the work of Shakespeare's contemporaries. Customer Reviews. Write a review.


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So if you find a current lower price from an online retailer on an identical, in-stock product, tell us and we'll match it. See more details at Online Price Match. Keep Reading. If you looke for an Epistle, as you have before ordinary publications, I am sory that I must deceive you; but you will not lay it to my charge, when you shall consider that this is not ordinary, for if I should say it were the best in this kinde, that ever this Kingdome hath yet seene; he that would doubt of it must goe out of the Kingdome to enforme himselfe, for the best judgments, within it, take it for granted.

You may imagine if it please you that I could endeare it unto you, by saying, that importunity drew it on; that had it not beene presented here, it would have come to us from beyond the Seas; which perhaps is true enough , That my charge and paines in procuring of it hath beene such, and such. I could adde hereto, a promise of more correctnesse, or enlargement in the next Edition, if you shall in the meane time content you with this. I cannot lose so much by him as hee will by himselfe. For I shall satisfie my selfe with the conscience of well doing, in making so much good common.

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Howsoever it may appeare to you. In this sad condition these learned sisters are fled over to beg your Lordships protection, who have been so certain a patron both to arts and armes, and who in this generall confusion have so intirely preserved your Honour, that in your Lordship we may still read a most perfect character of what England was in all her pompe and greatnesse, so that although these poems were formerly written upon severall occasions, and to severall persons, they now unite themselves, and are become one pyramid to set your Lordships statue upon, where you may stand like Armed Apollo the defendor of the Muses, encouraging the Poets now alive to celebrate your great Acts by affording your countenance to his poems that wanted onely so noble a subject.

To it, thy language, letters, arts, best life, Which might with halfe mankind maintain a strife; All which I mean[t] to praise, and, yet, I would; But leave, because I cannot as I should!

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