The day of horrors

Charles and Mary Lamb’s double-singleness
by
March 2022, no. 440

Dream-Child: A life of Charles Lamb by Eric G. Wilson

Yale University Press, US$35 hb, 516 pp

The day of horrors

Charles and Mary Lamb’s double-singleness
by
March 2022, no. 440

The life of Charles Lamb reads like a tale by Charles Dickens. In 1775, a sweet-natured boy is born in the Inns of Court, the ancient legal district in the City of London. The boy’s father, John Lamb, works as clerk, scribe, and all-round dogsbody for an imbecilic barrister called Samuel Salt – the names themselves are Dickensian – who does nothing without first consulting his servant. Charles, the youngest child by eleven years, grows up amid the great halls, libraries, chapels, staircases, sundials, fountains, and hidden orchards of the Inner Temple; his early youth is an Eden, but there is a serpent in the garden, because madness runs in the Lamb family.

Frances Wilson reviews ‘Dream-Child: A life of Charles Lamb’ by Eric G. Wilson

Dream-Child: A life of Charles Lamb

by Eric G. Wilson

Yale University Press, US$35 hb, 516 pp

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