Charles Lamb first wrote under the pseudonym Elia for the London Magazine from 1820 to 1825, and the easy conversational style of his essays has led them to be considered some of the finest in the language. The twenty-eight essays serialised here cover topics as various as the virtues of roast pork, Lamb’s years as a schoolboy with Coleridge, and the virtue of chimney sweeps.
Lamb charts a changing London, a place enjoying some commercial prosperity after the hardship of the Napoleonic wars, and reflects new opportunities within the cosmopolitan city for inhabitants to wear strange suits and transgress cultural norms. In the great age of the metropolitan essay, Lamb stands beside Hazlitt and De Quincey as an author who captures the spirit of his age.
Lamb’s Essays of Elia begins on 1 August 2016.
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