The Essays of Elia
Hard Cover. New York and Boston: C. T. Brainard Publishing Co., 1900. Near Fine.
Deluxe edition, limited issue of 1,000 copies printed for subscribers, this copy being out of series and unnumbered. Finely bound by Brentano's in three-quarter contemporary style dark blue morocco ruled in gilt and light blue cloth, five raised bands to spine, stamped in gilt to spine, pale gray endpapers, top edge gilt. About near fine with toning and light rubbing to extremities, interior very clean. Elia is a collection of Lamb's popular essays, each of which was originally published in London Magazine. Specifically, it includes "The South-Sea House," "Christ's Hospital Five and Thirty Years Ago," "Dream-Children; A Reverie," and "Modern Gallantry," among others. Lamb, a long-time clerk for the British East India Company, began writing essays under the pseudonym "Elia," which he derived from a former colleague's surname. Lamb wrote in a colloquial and conversational style that made his essays beloved by his Edwardian and Victorian readers. Additionally, Lamb included many of his friends and family in his writing, loosely disguised by initials and pseudonyms. Mary Lamb, Charles' sister and co-author of the popular Tales from Shakespeare (1807), appears as Cousin Bridget.