Mary Lamb

Standard Name: Lamb, Mary,, 1764 - 1847
Birth Name: Mary Anne Lamb
Nickname: Polly
Pseudonym: Sempronia
Used Form: Mary Anne Lamb
ML is still known primarily as the sister of the essayist Charles Lamb , and as the central character in a painful and sensational story. She was, however, the lead author in her three collaborations with Charles (Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare, 1807, Mrs Leicester's School, 1808, and a book of verses for children) and sole author of a strongly feminist essay.
Image of the head of Mary Lamb, 1764 - 1847, from a portrait of her with her brother Charles, by Francis Stephen Cary, 1834. She looks straight at the viewer; her face and some visible black hair are encircled by a white ruffled cap tied with a broad, dark ribbon, and she wears a black cloak.
"Mary Lamb, 1764 - 1847" This work is licensed under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication license. This work is in the public domain.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Education Carola Oman
The children's great delight was their mother reading aloud: theLamb s' Tales from Shakespeare, Sir Walter Scott 's poems, William Edmonstoune Aytoun 's Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers, 1865, Mary Martha Sherwood
Education Mary Cowden Clarke
MCC later remembered her responsibility, when very young, of escorting her two next younger brothers to their school.
Clarke, Mary Cowden. My Long Life. Dodd, Mead, 1896.
Unlike them, she began her education at home. She writes fondly about the rich array of...
Family and Intimate relationships Elizabeth Ogilvy Benger
Around 1801-2, Charles and Mary Lamb were said to have succeeded in talking [George Dyer ] into love with EOB , but to have been unsuccessful in talking her into love with him. This...
Family and Intimate relationships Matilda Betham-Edwards
MBE 's mother was born Barbara Betham, a clergyman's daughter. Her father and one of her brothers had been scholarly authors, and she was, in her daughter Matilda's words, for her day, highly educated.
Stephen, Sir Leslie, and Sidney Lee, editors. The Dictionary of National Biography. Smith, Elder, 1908.
Betham-Edwards, Matilda. Reminiscences. G. Redway, 1898, p. vi, 354 pp.
Friends, Associates Lucy Aikin
Henry Crabb Robinson , visiting LA with Charles and Mary Lamb , reported Aikin as admiring both the wit and the fine face of Lamb.
Robinson, Henry Crabb. Diary.
Friends, Associates Dorothy Wordsworth
DW 's correspondents included Maria Jane Jewsbury and Mary Ann Lamb . She was very close to Coleridge , who settled at Greta Hall near Keswick to be near the Wordsworths at Grasmere in June...
Friends, Associates Anna Letitia Barbauld
ALB met Charles Lamb and his sister Mary . Charles had already, in the privacy of a letter, railed at the cursed Barbauld Crew whose didactic tales had driven out old, wild tales,
McCarthy, William. Anna Letitia Barbauld, Voice of the Enlightenment. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008.
Friends, Associates Mary Cowden Clarke
In addition to meeting Dickens as a result of her theatrical activities, MCC and her husband met William Hazlitt through a shared duty of theatre reviewing, and she became friends with Mary Howitt , and...
Friends, Associates Elizabeth Ogilvy Benger
Having already praised many contemporary women writers in print, EOB was now able to meet them. The move to London was accomplished principally through the zealous friendship of Miss Sarah Wesley , who had already...
Friends, Associates Eliza Fenwick
Other more or less radical friends of EF included Thomas Holcroft , Anne Plumptre , Elizabeth Benger , Jane Porter , Henry Crabb Robinson , Charles and Mary Lamb , and their friend Sarah Stoddart
Friends, Associates Mary Matilda Betham
As well as meeting at Llangollen with Lady Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby (who later talked with high praise of her),
Betham, Ernest, editor. A House of Letters. Jarrold and Sons, 1905.
69, 70
MMB acquired a wide acquaintance in London. She became a close friend...
Friends, Associates Mary Hays
After Wollstonecraft's death, and Fenwick's departure from England, it seems unlikely that MH found female friends to replace them, though she knew well such people as Elizabeth Inchbald , Anna Letitia Barbauld , and Charles
Friends, Associates William Hazlitt
Sarah was a close friend of Mary Lamb (who tried without success to get her to see her divorce as a serious matter: Sarah was focussed, at least publicly, on the adventure of travelling to...
Friends, Associates Jane Welsh Carlyle
Despite her ill health, the couple entertained regularly. Their guests included John Stuart Mill , Henry Taylor , and Leigh Hunt . JWC became especially fond of Hunt and Mill.
Surtees, Virginia. Jane Welsh Carlyle. Michael Russell, 1986.
While in London she...
Friends, Associates Fanny Holcroft
She and her younger siblings were known to Charles and Mary Lamb , to their friend Thomas Manning , and to Mary Matilda Betham and her family.
Lamb, Charles, and Mary Lamb. The Letters of Charles and Mary Anne Lamb. Marrs, Edwin J.Editor , Cornell University Press, 1975.
3:3, 116-18 and n4, 166-7, 207


By June 1796
Samuel Taylor Coleridge compiled a booklet titled Sonnets from Various Authors: four each by himself, Southey , Charles Lamb , and Charles Lloyd , two by Charlotte Smith , and one each by seven more writers including Anna Seward .
13 December 1800
William Godwin 's five-act versetragedyAntonio was performed for the first and last time at Drury Lane . It was rejected by the audience, not with hissing but with coughing.
10 December 1806
Charles Lamb 's farceMr H— opened at Drury Lane . Its dashing coxcomb protagonist cuts a swathe through the ladies at Bath until it comes out that his name is Hogsflesh, when they drop him hurriedly.
John Mitford published A Description of the Crimes and Horrors in the Interior of Warburton 's Private Mad-House at Hoxton, Commonly Called Whitmore House: in one of these the writer Mary Lamb had been confined.
By Christmas 1869
Francis Galton , mathematician, scientist, and eugenicist, published Hereditary Genius: An Enquiry into its Laws and Consequences,
By 26 October 1972
Helen Gardner edited The New Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250-1950, designed to update and replace Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch 's Oxford Book of English Verse, 1900.