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The Last Essays of Elia / Edition 1

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Overview

Charles Lamb, one of the most engaging personal essayists of all time, began publishing his unforgettable, entertaining Elia essays in the London Magazine in 1820; they were so immediately popular that a book-length collection was published in 1823. Inventing the persona of “Elia” allowed Lamb to be shockingly honest and to gain a playful distance for self-examination. The resulting essays touch upon a wide range of compelling subjects from the deliciously humorous “Dissertation upon Roast Pig” to the poignantly reflective “New Year's Eve.” Yet collectively they also comprise a fascinating personal memoir, veiled under the pseudonymous disguise of Elia. Now back in print with a new foreword by the distinguished personal essayist Phillip Lopate and with useful annotations, Essays of Elia will provide a delicious stylistic treat for all readers.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“. . . one of the classics of English prose and a cornerstone of the personal essay tradition. All personal essayists worth their salt owe a huge debt to this generous and generative collection. . . ; all apprentice essayists who would strive to make headway in the form will need to read it. . . . Essays of Elia is not only an essential text, but a near-buried treasure, an all-but-lost masterpiece in our contemporary culture.” — Phillip Lopate

Library Journal
Lamb's Elia essays originally appeared in London Magazine in 1820 and proved so popular that the pieces were collected and released as a single volume in 1823. This University of Iowa reprint is a facsimile of that first edition. Along with the initial 28 essays is an additional Elia piece written in 1823 as well as a new introduction by contemporary essayist Phillip Lopate. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780877458517
  • Publisher: University of Iowa Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2003
  • Series: Sightline Books
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 476
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Lamb (1775-1834) worked as a clerk for the East India Company his entire life; literary fame came to him relatively late, after attempts in the Welds of drama and poetry. He is also known for Tales from Shakespeare, adaptations for children written in collaboration with his sister, Mary, and Specimens of English Dramatic Poets Contemporary with Shakespeare.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
The South-Sea House 1
Oxford in the Vacation 15
Christ's Hospital Five and Thirty Years Ago 27
The Two Races of Men 51
New Year's Eve 61
Mrs. Battle's Opinions on Whist 73
A Chapter on Ears 86
All Fool's Day 95
A Quaker's Meeting 102
The Old and the New Schoolmaster 111
Valentine's Day 127
Imperfect Sympathies 133
Witches, and Other Night-Fears 148
My Relations 160
Mackery End, in Hertfordshire 172
Modern Gallantry 181
The Old Benchers of the Inner Temple 189
Grace before Meat 209
My First Play 221
Dream-Children; A Reverie 230
Distant Correspondents 238
The Praise of Chimney-Sweepers 249
A Complaint of the Decay of Beggars in the Metropolis 262
A Dissertation upon Roast Pig 276
A Bachelor's Complaint of the Behaviour of Married People 289
On Some of the Old Actors 302
On the Artificial Comedy of the Last Century 323
On the Acting of Munden 338
A Character of the Late Elia 343
Notes 351
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