Charles Lamb (1775–1835)

English poet and essayist. Born in London, Lamb left school at age fourteen and found work in an accountant’s office where he was employed for twenty-five years. Along with his older sister Mary, Lamb wrote the popular children’s book Tales from Shakespeare (1807), editions of which are still available today. As a poet Lamb received encouragement from his childhood friend Samuel Taylor Coleridge, but his poems never garnered the attention that Lamb hoped for; as an essayist, though, writing under the pen name “Elia,” he published frequently in the London Magazine and became one of England’s most admired authors, collecting his work in Essays of Elia (1823) and Last Essays of Elia (1833). See also