Charles Lamb, one of the most engaging personal essayists of all time, began publishing his Elia essays in the ""London Magazine"" in 1820; they were so immediately popular that a book-length collection was published in 1823. Inventing the persona of ""Elia"" allowed Lamb to be shockingly honest and to gain a playful distance for self-examination. The resulting essays touched upon a wide range of compelling subjects from the humorous ""Dissertation upon Roast Pig"" to the poignantly reflective ""New Year's Eve"". Yet collectively, they also comprise a fascinating personal memoir, veiled under the pseudonymous disguise of Elia. This edition of the text features a foreword by Phillip Lopate and contains useful annotation throughout.
Charles Lamb (1775-1834) worked as a clerk for the East India Company his entire life; literary fame came to him relatively late, after attempts in the fields of drama and poetry. He is also known for Tales from Shakespeare, adaptations for children written in collaboration with his sister, Mary, and Specimens of English Dramatic Poets Contemporary with Shakespeare.