Essayist Called Elia

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For Lamb, the London Magazine was "chiefly pleasant." he wrote July, 1821.

"because some of my friends write in it." (Lucas 2: 306).

[Beresford, James.] Bibliosophia; or, Book-Wisdom: Containing some Account of the Pride, Pleasures, and Privileges of that Glorious Vocation, Book-Collecting.

"Hazlitt and the sociability of theatre." Romantic Sociability: Social Networks and Literary Culture in Britain, 1770-1840.

In My Relations, he gives full and living pictures of his relations—his brother John (James Elia) and his sister Mary (Bridget Elia). Hill, “Apart from these biographical details revealed in his essays, the man himself is more than reflected in his work.” Lamb’s sweet and charming personality reflected in his essays is the secret of the popularity of Essays of Elia.

His father is the Lovel of the Old Benchers, his grandmother in Dream Children. Humour in the essays of Lamb is the humour of life. We can say that it is saving grace for him, for after all it enables him to detach himself from the painful realities, or rather to view them as things apart from himself.

His friendship with Hazlitt facilitated a conversation between their essays. there are striking similarities between their essays, such as Lamb's "New Year's Eve" and Hazlitt's "On the Past and Future." (1) A month after "Elia" first appeared in the magazine, Hazlitt's essay "On the Conversation of Ant ns" referred to Lamb's visit to Oxford, and how he "walked gowned" among its quadrangles--an allusion to Lamb's sonnet written at Cambridge, "I was not trained in academic bowers" (LM 2: 261).

In October, the second Elia essay, "Oxford in the Vacation," offered a subtle hint to Elia's real identity. the only living named participant, but rebukes him: "I cannot indulge von in your definition. We will have nothing said or done syllogistically this day" (LM 3: 362).

They traverse a peculiar field of observation, sequestered from general interest, and they are composed in a spirit too delicate and unobtrusive to catch the ear of the noisy crowd, clamouring for strong sensations.

This retiring delicacy itself, the pensiveness chequered by gleams of the fanciful, and the humour that is touched with cross-lights of pathos, together with the picturesque For example, in Christ’s Hospital he tells about his days of childhood at the Temple, in Blakesmoor in Hertfordshire, he describes his boyish days of fun and merry making, his holiday trips to the sea-side with his sister Mary, his recovery from serious illness, the drudgery of the office work and other various details of his life.


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