Charles Lamb Other literary forms

Other literary forms

(British and Irish Poetry, Revised Edition)

Charles Lamb began his literary career writing poetry and continued to write verse his entire life. He tried his hand at other genres, however, and is remembered primarily for his familiar essays. These essays, originally published in the London Magazine, were collected in Essays of Elia (1823) with another collection appearing ten years later, Last Essays of Elia (1833). In addition to his poetry and essays, Lamb wrote fiction, drama, children’s literature, and criticism. He wrote one novel, A Tale of Rosamund Gray and Old Blind Margaret (1798). In 1802, he published his first play, John Woodvil: A Tragedy, which was followed shortly by another attempt at drama: Mr. H.: Or, Beware a Bad Name, a Farce in Two Acts (pb. 1806). In addition to several prologues and epilogues, he published two other dramas: The Pawnbroker’s Daughter: A Farce (pb. 1825) and The Wife’s Trial (pb. 1827). In addition, he wrote (largely in collaboration with his sister Mary) several children’s books: The King and Queen of Hearts (1805), Tales from Shakespeare (1807), Adventures of Ulysses (1808), Mrs. Leicester’s School (1809), and Prince Dorus (1811). Lamb’s criticism appeared in various periodicals but was never systematically collected and published during his lifetime. He did publish copious critical notes to accompany his voluminous extracts from Elizabethan plays, Specimens of English Dramatic Poets, Who Lived About the Time of Shakespeare, with Notes (1808).