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.


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.
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.
Betham-Edwards, Matilda. Reminiscences. G. Redway, p. vi, 354 pp.
Friends, Associates Charles Cowden Clarke
CCC was an important early friend of John Keats . He also formed friendships with Leigh Hunt , Douglas Jerrold , Charles and Mary Lamb , and Charles Dickens . Most of these friendships were...
Friends, Associates Mary Cowden Clarke
MCC 's parents frequently entertained eminent literary figures in a drawing-room where the paintings were all executed by distinguished friends. At an early age she became acquainted with Charles and Mary Lamb , Leigh Hunt
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 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.
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 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 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.
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...


By June 1796: Samuel Taylor Coleridge compiled a booklet...

Writing climate item

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 verse tragedy Antonio...

Writing climate item

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 farce Mr H— opened at Drury...

Writing climate item

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.

1823: John Mitford published A Description of the...

Building item


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,...

Writing climate item

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...

Writing climate item

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.


Lamb, Mary, and Charles Lamb. Mrs Leicester’s School. M. J. Godwin, 1808.
Lamb, Mary. “On Needle-Work”. British Lady’s Magazine.
Lamb, Mary, and Charles Lamb. Poetry for Children. M. J. Godwin, 1809.
Lamb, Mary, and Charles Lamb. Tales from Shakespear. M. J. Godwin, 1807.
Lamb, Charles, and Mary Lamb. The Letters of Charles and Mary Anne Lamb. Editor Marrs, Edwin J., Cornell University Press, 1975.
Lamb, Charles, and Mary Lamb. The Letters of Charles Lamb. Editor Lucas, Edward Verrall, J. M. Dent, 1935.
Lamb, Charles, and Mary Lamb. The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb. Editor Lucas, Edward Verrall, Methuen, 1905.