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Charles Lamb (1775-1834), Essayist and poet

Sitter in 11 portraits
Lamb was one of the great essayists and critics of the early nineteenth century. A lifelong friend of Coleridge and a familiar figure in Romantic circles, Lamb worked and spent much of his life as a clerk at East India House from 1792 to 1825. His first success was the collection of prose adaptations for children, Tales from Shakespeare (1807), written with his sister Mary. Thanks to an introduction by Benjamin Robert Haydon, he began to contribute to the London Magazine in 1820. Using the pen-name 'Elia', Lamb wrote on various historical and topical subjects with nostalgia, warmth and humorous intelligence and his collected Essays of Elia (1823) was a huge success.

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Charles Lamb

by Robert Hancock
black, red and brown chalk and pencil, 1798
NPG 449


Charles Lamb

by William Hazlitt
oil on canvas, 1804
NPG 507


Charles Lamb

after Henry Meyer
oil on canvas, (1826)
NPG 1312


Mary Lamb; Charles Lamb

by Francis Stephen Cary
oil on canvas, 1834
NPG 1019


Charles Lamb

by Harry Furniss
pen and ink
NPG 6251(34)


Charles Lamb

after Brook Pulham
reproduction of etching, (1825)
NPG D9818


Charles Lamb

by Elliott & Fry
half-plate negative
NPG x82358


Charles Lamb

by Henry Meyer, published by Fisher Son & Co
stipple engraving, published 1 March 1828 (1826)
NPG D13983


Charles Lamb

after Daniel Maclise
lithograph, published 1873
NPG D15552