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(10 February 1775 – 27 December 1834 / London)

Charles Lamb
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Charles Lamb was an English essayist, best known for his Essays of Elia and for the children's book Tales from Shakespeare, which he produced with his sister, Mary Lamb. Lamb has been referred to by E.V. Lucas, his principal biographer, as the most lovable figure in English literature.

Lamb was honoured by The Latymer School, a grammar school in Edmonton, a suburb of London where he lived for a time; it has six houses, one of which, "Lamb", is named after Charles.

Youth and Schooling

Lamb was the son of Elizabeth Field and John Lamb. Lamb was the youngest child, with an 11 year older sister Mary, an even older brother John, and 4 other siblings who did... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''Were I Diogenes, I would not move out of a kilderkin into a hogshead, though the first had had nothing but small beer in it, and the second reeked claret.''
    Charles Lamb (1775-1834), British essayist, critic. Letter, March 28, 1809, to Thomas Manning. Vol. 2, Complete Works of Charles Lamb (1882). On h...
  • When I consider how little of a rarity children are—that every street and blind alley swarms with them—that the poorest people commonly have them in most abundance—that there are few ma...
    Charles Lamb (1775-1834), British essayist, critic. "A Bachelor's Complaint of the Behavior of Married People," Essays of Elia (1820-1823).
  • ''The greatest pleasure I know, is to do a good action by stealth, and to have it found out by accident.''
    Charles Lamb (1775-1834), British essayist, critic. Athenaeum (London, Jan. 4, 1834), "Table Talk by the Late Elia."
  • ''Shakespeare is one of the last books one should like to give up, perhaps the one just before the Dying Service in a large Prayer book.''
    Charles Lamb (1775-1834), British essayist, critic. letter, Feb. 1, 1806, to William Wordsworth. Bibliophile (1840).
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