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Written by clergyman Alfred Ainger (1837-1904), this 1882 biography of writer Charles Lamb (1775-1834) is the twenty-first book in the first series of 'English Men of Letters'. Charles Lamb began publishing his poetry in the late 1790s. Both he and his sister Mary (1764-1847), who had been released into Charles' care after killing their mother in a fit of insanity in 1796, began writing for children with the encouragement of William Godwin, their works including the Tales from Shakespeare (1807) for which they are best known. Lamb was also widely regarded for his skill as an essayist, and particularly for his Essays of Elia. Ainger devoted much of his career to Lamb's life and writings, including a six-volume edited collection of Lamb's work. His biography focuses on Lamb's literary output and his place as a critic as well as the events of the writer's life.