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The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Elia and The Last Essays of Elia   By: (1775-1834)

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LAMB, VOLUME 2

THE WORKS OF CHARLES AND MARY LAMB, VOLUME 2

ELIA; and THE LAST ESSAYS OF ELIA

BY

CHARLES LAMB

EDITED BY

E.V. LUCAS

[Illustration]

WITH A FRONTISPIECE

INTRODUCTION

This volume contains the work by which Charles Lamb is best known and upon which his fame will rest Elia and The Last Essays of Elia . Although one essay is as early as 1811, and one is perhaps as late as 1832, the book represents the period between 1820 and 1826, when Lamb was between forty five and fifty one. This was the richest period of his literary life.

The text of the present volume is that of the first edition of each book Elia , 1823, and The Last Essays of Elia , 1833. The principal differences between the essays as they were printed in the London Magazine and elsewhere, and as they were revised for book form by their author, are shown in the Notes, which, it should be pointed out, are much fuller in my large edition. The three part essay on "The Old Actors" ( London Magazine , February, April, and October, 1822), from which Lamb prepared the three essays; "On Some of the Old Actors," "The Artificial Comedy of the Last Century," and "The Acting of Munden," is printed in the Appendix as it first appeared. The absence of the "Confessions of a Drunkard" from this volume is due to the fact that Lamb did not include it in the first edition of The Last Essays of Elia . It was inserted later, in place of "A Death Bed," on account of objections that were raised to that essay by the family of Randal Norris. The story is told in the notes to "A Death Bed." The "Confessions of a Drunkard" will be found in Vol. I.

In Mr. Bedford's design for the cover of this edition certain Elian symbolism will be found. The upper coat of arms is that of Christ's Hospital, where Lamb was at school; the lower is that of the Inner Temple, where he was born and spent many years. The figures at the bells are those which once stood out from the façade of St. Dunstan's Church in Fleet Street, and are now in Lord Londesborough's garden in Regent's Park. Lamb shed tears when they were removed. The tricksy sprite and the candles (brought by Betty) need no explanatory words of mine.

E.V.L.

CONTENTS

APPENDIX TEXT NOTE PAGE PAGE

The South Sea House 1 342 Oxford in the Vacation 8 345 Christ's Hospital Five and Thirty Years Ago 14 350 The Two Races of Men 26 355 New Year's Eve 31 358 Mrs. Battle's Opinions on Whist 37 361 A Chapter on Ears 43 363 All Fools' Day 48 367 A Quaker's Meeting 51 367 The Old and the New Schoolmaster 56 369 Valentine's Day 63 370 Imperfect Sympathies 66 370 Witches, and other Night Fears 74 372 My Relations 80 373 Mackery End, in Hertfordshire 86 375 Modern Gallantry 90 377 The Old Benchers of the Inner Temple 94 379 Grace Before Meat 104 384 My First Play 110 385 Dream Children; A Reverie 115 388 Distant Correspondents 118 389 The Praise of Chimney Sweepers 124 390 A Complaint of the Decay of Beggars in the Metropolis 130 392 A Dissertation upon Roast Pig 137 395 A Bachelor's Complaint of the Behaviour of Married ... Continue reading book >>


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