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(Arranged chronologically)

1775 February 10, born in Crown-office Row, Temple, London.
1781 Pupil in William Bird's school in Fetter Lane.
1782-1789 October, enters Christ's Hospital; schoolmates are
Leigh Hunt and Coleridge; becomes Deputy Grecian
under Rev. James Boyer; vacations spent at Blakesware
in Hertfordshire.

1789? Receives clerkship in the South-Sea House; love affair with Ann Simmons (1789-1795).

1792 April 5, appointed clerk in the East India House; meetings with Coleridge at the "Salutation and Cat" Tavern ; sees Mrs. Siddons.

1795-1796 Takes lodgings in Little Queen Street, Holborn ; meets Robert Southey; spends six weeks in madhouse at Hoxton.

1796 Lamb's sonnets published with Coleridge's poems; September, Mary Lamb kills her mother and is confined in madhouse.

1797 Charles and Mary begin their "life of dual loneliness"; visits to Southey in Hampshire and to Coleridge at Nether Stowey.

1798 Publication of A Tale of Rosamund Gray and The Old Familiar Faces.

1799 Meets Godwin and Manning; revisits Hertfordshire.
1800 Removes with Mary to Chapel Street, Pentonville, where they
are "shunned and marked"; affair with Hester Savary;
removes to No. 16 Mitre Court Buildings in the Temple;
visits from and to Coleridge; meets the Wordsworths.

1800-1803 Contributor to the Morning Post, Albion, and Morning Chronicle.

1802 Publication of John Woodvil, Fragments of Burton, and Ballads.

1805 Mary in asylum a month; Lamb writes Farewell to Tobacco. 1806 Lamb's farce, Mr. H., fails at Drury Lane Theater; begins to give Wednesday-night parties.

1807 Tales from Shakespeare published jointly by Charles and Mary.

1808 Adventures of Ulysses and Specimens of English Dramatic Poets published.

1809 Takes lodgings at 34 Southampton Buildings, Chancery Lane, thence to chambers No. 4, Inner Temple Lane; Wednesday-night parties flourish; joint publication of Mrs. Leicester's School and Poetry for Children.

1810. Visit to Hazlitt at Winterslow; visit to Oxford; Mary in


1811 Publication of essays on The Genius and Character of Hogarth and The Tragedies of Shakespeare in the Reflector; Gifford attacks Lamb in the Quarterly


1815 Meets Talfourd; visit from Wordsworth; Mary in asylum ten weeks.

1817 Takes lodgings in Great Russell Street, Covent Garden; meets the actors Munden, Elliston, and Miss Kelly. 1818 Publication of Lamb's Complete Works in two volumes (Chas. Ollier).

1822 Death of John Lamb; trip to Paris; writes Confessions of a Drunkard.

1823 The Essays of Elia, published by Taylor and Hessey; controversy with Southey; removes to a cottage in Colebrook Row, Islington; writes A Character of the Late Elia. By a Friend, and seven essays for the London. 1825 March, Lamb retired on pension of £450 a year by the directors of the India House; writes four essays for the London, a hoax Memoir of Liston, Horns, and Letter to an Old Gentleman.

1826 Writes for the New Monthly Magazine; writes The Confidant, a farce.

1827 Mary ill in asylum; removes to Chaseside, Enfield. 1828 Contributes Popular Fallacies to the New Monthly. 1829 Lodges at the Westwoods'; the stagecoach incident; Mary


1830 Moxon publishes Lamb's Album Verses; Lamb removes for a short while to London, then returns to Enfield; Mary's illness increases.

1831 Contributes Peter's Net to the Englishman's Magazine. 1833 Lodges with Walden at Bay Cottage, Edmonton; Mary very ill and Charles' health poor; Moxon publishes the Last Essays of Elia.

1834 Death of Coleridge; death of Lamb, December 27, and burial at Edmonton.

1847 May 20, Mary dies in private asylum.


De Quincey has remarked that in order to appreciate Lamb it is necessary to understand his character and temperament.1 A knowledge of the man, his likes and dislikes, his whims, caprices, and fancies, is in fact the master key which alone will unlock the treasures of his writings. Charles Lamb was a most paradoxical character, and his personality is projected to a remarkable extent into all his literary work. The correct interpretation, therefore, of any particular passage may depend upon our insight into the peculiar bias of the writer's mind. The coy and wayward Elia should, of all essayists, be approached in a friendly and unprejudiced spirit. Recognizing this important personal equation, therefore, the student of Lamb should not lose sight of the unconscious reaction of his character and life on his work, and should set himself the pleasant task of

1 De Quincey's Works, Vol. III, p. 53, Masson ed.

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