LAMB, Charles. The Works of Charles Lamb [BOURKE OF THORNFIELD COPY]


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A New Edition. London: Edward Moxon, 1840. Medium octavo. Contemporary full polished calf, covers ruled with double gilt fillets. Spine divided into six panels by five gilt raised bands, title in gilt on black morocco letterpiece in the second, the remainder elaborately tooled in gilt; board-edges ruled in gilt; turn-ins hatched in blind; comb-marbled endpapers; all edges marbled. From the library of Richard Bourke of Thornfield, County Limerick, with his armorial bookplate on front pastedown. Traces of inoffensive stain to cover. A very good copy. Charles Lamb (1775-1834) was an essayist and poet, who along with his sister Mary Lamb (1764- 1847) produced a number of works including ‘Tales from Shakespeare’. He was good friends with a number of important and prolific literary figures, including Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth and Robert Southey, and corresponded with them. Both he and his sister suffered bouts of mental illness. In 1796 Lamb’s sister, Mary, in a fit of madness (which was to prove recurrent) killed their mother with a kitchen knife. Lamb reacted with courage and loyalty, taking on himself the burden of looking after Mary who spent the majority of the remainder of her life in mental institutions.

This work contains letters written by Lamb to Coleridge, Southey and Wordsworth, as well as his essays, verses and poetry.
Moxon was not only Lamb’s publisher but his son-in-law, and is also remembered for his literary associations with Tennyson, Wordsworth, and Mary Shelley.
Provenance: From the library of Richard Bourke of Thornfield, Lisnagry, County Limerick. General Sir Richard Bourke, KCB (1777-1855), was an Irish-born British Army officer who served as Governor of New South Wales from 1831 to 1837. As a lifelong Whig (Liberal), he encouraged the emancipation of convicts and helped bring forward the ending of penal transportation to Australia. In this, he faced strong opposition from the landlord establishment and its press. He approved a new settlement on the Yarra River, and named it Melbourne, in honour of the incumbent British prime minister, Lord Melbourne



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