“A SLY HIT, A HAPPY PUN, A HUMOROUS COMBINATION”: LAMB’S ESSAYS OF ELIA, HANDSOMELY BOUND
LAMB, Charles. The Essays of Elia. London: Macmillan, 1906. Small octavo, contemporary full brown morocco gilt, raised bands, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt, uncut. $500.
20th-century edition of Lamb’s essays—by turns witty, insightful, self-deprecating, and philosophical—handsomely bound by Hatchards.
“The prose essays under the signature of Elia form the most delightful section amongst Lamb’s works… They are carefully elaborated; yet never were works written in a higher defiance to the conventional pomp of style. A sly hit, a happy pun, a humorous combination, lets the light into the intricacies of the subject… [Lamb] gives an importance to every thing, and sheds a grace over all” (Allibone, 1050, 1049). “The first series of these popular Essays appeared in the London Magazine between August 1820 and October 1822; the second series, between May 1823 and August 1825” (Lowndes).
A fine copy.