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The Complete Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, vol. 5: Album Verses and Uncollected Poems, 1789-1834

Research output: Book/ReportScholarly edition

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
Publisher or commissioning bodyOxford University Press
Volume5
DateIn preparation - 30 Dec 2021

Publication series

NameOxford English Texts
PublisherOxford University Press

Abstract

Charles Lamb’s critical reputation rests on the mature Elia essays published in periodicals such as the London Magazine in the 1820s and early 1830s. Yet equally characteristic are the ‘trivial’ album verses, acrostics, occasional and other poems that he handwrote for friends and acquaintances in letters and manuscript albums in the same period – some of which were gathered in Lamb’s only volume of poetry, Album Verses with a few others (Moxon, 1830).
Volume V of the edition gathers together Lamb’s work as a poet over a long if sporadic career, from juvenile verses written at Christ’s Hospital School in 1789, and the much-anthologised early ‘The Old Familiar Faces’, via fugitive poems and dramatic texts published in collaborative volumes, periodicals, and anthologies, and occasional and album poems designed for small-scale circulation, to verses left in manuscript at his death in 1834. It exemplifies the centrality of eclecticism and miscellaneity to Lamb’s aesthetics, the collaborative and sociable character of his creative genius, and acknowledges the productive complexities created by the unusually fluent relationship between Lamb’s personal and affective and public and professional identities. Attending to the visual, material and reflexive qualities of Lamb’s poems, and drawing on cultural contexts such as scribal publication and gift-exchange practises, the edition demonstrates the importance of the two-way traffic between manuscript and print to give a fresh account of Lamb’s diverse poetic oeuvre.

    Structured keywords

  • Faculty of Arts - Centre for Material Texts

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