Tales from Shakespeare Author:Charles and Mary Lamb These Tales form Shakespeare have been favorites for well over a hundred years; Charles Lamb, their chief author, was born in 1775. Lamb was a school contemporary of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Leigh Hunt at Christ's Hospital in London. He would have gone into the church, for he and Mary came from an educated middle-class family; but Charles stu... more »ttered badly. After school, he took a job as a clerk in the East India Company, which he was to keep his whole life through. When he turned twenty-one, he undertook the care of his sister, Mary, who was deeply troubled by a childhood tragedy.
Charles and Mary Lamb were friends of and correspondents with most of the great authors of their day. Charles was a schoolmate of Coleridge and Hunt, of course; and the circle also included such men as William Godwin, William Hazlitt, Thomas Hood, the Wordsworths, and Thomas Manning, the mathematician. Their relationships were close and warm, and we have them to thank for preserving many of Lamb's finest pieces of writing, for he wrote marvelous letters. These letters we're the models for the informal, sensitive Essays of Elia for which Lamb is most famous.« less