Lamb's poems garnered little attention and are seldom read today. As he himself came to realize, he was a much more talented prose stylist than poet. Indeed, one of the most celebrated poets of the day—William Wordsworth—wrote to John Scott as early as that Lamb "writes prose exquisitely"—and this was five years before Lamb began The Essays of Elia for which he is now most famous.
Notwithstanding, Lamb's contributions to Coleridge's second edition of the Poems on Various Subjects showed significant growth as a poet. Because of temporary fallout with Coleridge, Lamb's poems were to be excluded in the third edition of the Poems though as it turned out a third edition never emerged.
Instead, Coleridge's next publication was the monumentally influential Lyrical Ballads co-published with Wordsworth. Lamb, on the other hand, published a book entitled Blank Verse with Charles Lloyd, the mentally unstable son of the founder of Lloyds Bank. Lamb's most famous poem was written at this time and entitled The Old Familiar Faces. Like most of Lamb's poems, it is unabashedly sentimental, and perhaps for this reason it is still remembered and widely read today, being often included in anthologies of British and Romantic period poetry.
Of particular interest to Liberians is the opening verse of the original version of The Old Familiar Faces, which is concerned with Lamb's mother, whom Mary Lamb killed. It is very important that we know the time and place to express our emotions instead of letting them loose whenever and wherever. There is a deep pleasure to listen his poems.
Furthermore the repetition of vowel sounds is well seen in his poetry. However, there is much difference between his essays and the essays of his model. Montaigne's essays are marked by his tendency towards self-revelation, a light-hearted sense of humor, and tolerance. But Bacon in his essay is more an adviser than a companion: he is serious, objective, and didactic.
It has well been said that the essay took a wrong turn in the hands of Bacon. For two centuries after Bacon the essay in England went on gravitating towards the original conception held by Montaigne, but it was only in the hands of the romantic essayists of the early nineteenth century that it became wholly personal, light, and lyrical in nature. From then onwards it has seen no essential change. The position of Lamb among these romantic essayists is the most eminent.
In fact, he has often been called the prince of all the essayists England has so far produced. Hugh Walker calls him the essayist par excellence who should be taken as a model. It is from the essays of Lamb that we often derive our very definition of the essay, and it is with reference to his essays as a criterion of excellence that we evaluate the achievement and merit of a given essayist. Familiarity with Lamb as a man enhances for a reader the charm of his essays.
And he is certainly the most charming of all English essays. We may not find in him the massive genius of Bacon, or the ethereal flights O altitude of Thomas Browne, or the brilliant lucidity of Addison, or the ponderous energy of Dr. Johnson, but none excels him in the ability to charm the reader or to catch him in the plexus of his own personality. Because of his nostalgia and humorous idiosyncrasies, his works were conspicuously known throughout the 19 th and 20th century.
He brought a new kind of warmth to English prose. His sentences can be intense, they can sneer, they can scream, but they always have a kind of rounded glow, like a welcoming, slightly melancholy fireplace. According to the subject he is treating, he makes use of the rhythms and vocabularies of these writers. This is the secret of the charm of his style and it also prevents him from ever becoming monotonous or tiresome.
His style is also full of surprises because his mood continually varies, creating or suggesting its own style, and calling into play some recollection of this or that writer of the older world. The evolution of the essay from Bacon to Lamb lies primarily in its shift from objectivity to subjectivity, and from formality to familiarity. Of all the essayists it is perhaps Lamb who is the most autobiographic. Lamb with other romantic essayists completed this change.
Walter Pater observes in Appreciations; "With him, as with Montaigne, the desire of self-portraiture is below all mere superficial tendencies, the real motive in 'writing at all, desire closely connected with intimacy, that modern subjectivity which may be called the Montaignesque element in literature. In his each and every essay we feel the vein of his subjectivity. It is really impossible to think of an essayist who is more personal than Lamb. His essays reveal him fully-in all his whims, prejudices, past associations, and experiences.
His tenderness towards his sister Mary is revealed by "Mrs. She got married and her children had to "call Bartram father. When the reverie is gone this is what he finds: " Samuel C. The admissions of his own weaknesses, follies, and prejudices are so many humorous warnings to his readers. Far from that, Egotism with Lamb sheds its usual offensive accoutrements.
His egotism is free from vulgarity. Well does Compton-Rickettobserve: "There is no touch of vulgarity in these intimacies; for all their frank unreserved we feel the delicate refinement of the man's spiritual nature. Lamb omits no essential, he does not sentimentalize, and does not brutalize his memories. He poetizes them, preserving them for us in art that can differentiate between genuine reality and crude realism.
Though Lamb is an egotist yet he is not self-assertive. He talks about himself not because he thinks himself to be important but because he thinks himself to be the only object he knows intimately. Thus his egotism is born of a sense of humility rather than hauteur.
Chew observes: "Like all the romantics he is self-revelatory, but there is nothing in him of the 'egotistical-sublime. This change was to be accepted by all the essayists to follow. He has made of chatter a fine art. He plays with him in a puckish manner, no doubt, but he is always ready to take him into confidence and to exchange heart-beats with him.
In the essays of the writers before him we are aware of a well-marked distance between the writer and ourselves. Bacon and Addison perch themselves, as it were, on a pedestal, and cast pearls before the readers standing below. In Cowley, the distance between the reader and writer narrows down-but it is there still.
It was left for Lamb to abolish this distance altogether. He often addresses the reader "dear reader" as if he were addressing a bosom friend. He makes nonsense of the proverbial English insularity and "talks" to the readers as "a friend and man" as Thackeray said he did in his novels.
This note of intimacy is quite pleasing, for Lamb is the best of friends. Lamb shed once and for all the didactic approach which characterizes the work of most essayists before him. Bacon called his essays "counsels civil and moral. Lamb is too modest to pretend to proffer moral counsels. He never argues, dictates, or coerces. We do not find any "philosophy of life" in his essays, though there are some personal views and opinions flung about here and there not for examination and adoption, but just to serve as so many ventilators to let us have a peep into his mind.
He has no aim save the reader's pleasure, and his own. He never bothers about keeping to the point. Too often do we find him flying off at a tangent and ending at a point which we could never have foreseen? Every road with him seems to lead to the world's end. We often reproach Bacon for the "dispersed" nature of his "meditations", but Lamb beats everybody in his monstrous discursiveness.
In this essay which apparently is written for comparing the old and new schoolmaster, the first two pages or thereabouts contain a very humorous and exaggerated description of the author's own ignorance. Now, we may ask, what has Lamb's ignorance to do with the subject in hand? Then, the greater part of the essay "Oxford in the Vacation" is devoted to the description of his friend Dyer. Lamb's essays are seldom artistic, well-patterned wholes.
They have no beginning, middle and end. However, what these essays lose in artistic design they gain in the touch of spontaneity. This is what lends them what is called "the lyrical quality. His essays are rich alike in wit, humor, and fun. Hallward and Hill observe in the Introduction to their edition of the Essays of Elia: "The terms Wit, Humor and Fun are often confused but they are really different in meaning. The first is based on intellect, the second on insight and sympathy, the third on vigor and freshness of mind and body.
Lamb's writings show all the three qualities, but what most distinguishes him is Humor, for his sympathy is ever strong and active. Priestley observes in English Humor: "English humor at its deepest and tenderness seems in him [Lamb] incarnate. He did not merely create it, he lived in it. His humor is not an idle thing, but the white flower, plucked from a most dangerous nettle.
That is why he often laughs through his tears. Witness his treatment of the hard life of chimney sweepers and Christ's Hospital boys. The descriptions are touching enough, but Lamb's treatment provides us with a humorous medium of perception rich in prismatic effects, which bathes the tragedy of actual life in the iridescence of mellow comedy. The total effect is very complex, and strikes our sensibility in a bizarre way, puzzling us as to what is comic and what is tragic. It is natural, then, that his style is archaic.
His sentences are long and rambling, after the 17th century fashion. He uses words many of which are obsolescent, if not obsolete. His style is a mixture certainly of many styles, but a chemical not a mechanical mixture. His inspiration from old writers gives his style a romantic coloring which is certainly intensified by his vigorous imagination.
He is certainly a romantic essayist. What is more, he is a poet. Many consider Lamb to be the typical essayist. Bacon is famous for his informative essays while Lamb is popular for his personal type of essays. Most of the time, the style of a writer is dictated by the type of subjects he is writing on.
Both Bacon and Lamb wrote on a wide range of topics, but the purpose of each case differed. Bacon wrote with the declared aim of guiding his readers in matters of civil and moral importance. Governed by the need of offering practical advice for worldly success, Bacons style is rhetorical, persuasive, and designed to convince his readers. On the other hand, Lamb was not governed by any such aim in his writing. His style reflects the idiosyncrasies, whims and personal likes of his.
Both writers make profuse use of allusions and quotations, but the difference lies in the method of use. Bacon uses his allusions solemnly, Lamb uses allusions almost casually, to illustrate his point, or to lend as if they simply came to him weight to his analysis.
For naturally not to convince a reader example in Of Nature in Men, he but to share an experience. Milton protested against the law forbidding the publication of books until they were endorsed by the official censor. By the middle of the century Dekker, Fuller and Hall developed the essay by writing characters.
The 18 th century marks the growth up to leading political parties that needed some new papers and periodicals to propagate their ideals. Daniel Defoe, Richard Steele, Joseph Addison did some significant works through their periodical essays. The " Tatler " was a periodical originally started by Richard Steele and later on joined by Joseph Addison in and it appeared three times a week until , numbering issues in all.
After an interval for some time, it reappeared in ; it was revived by Joseph Addison and 80 numbers were added The Tatler and the Spectator were the beginning of the modern essay; and their studies of human character, as exemplified in Sir Roger de Coverley, are the preparation for the modern novel.
He is quite remarkable for the sweetness and magnanimity of his angelic nature. The periodical essay declined after Oliver Goldsmith. Essays of the Eighteenth century -. The eighteenth century witnessed the real flowering of the essay. Both the personal and impersonal kind of essay began to flourish in this period. It was in this age that a number of literary and critical magazines and reviews came into being providing an opportunity for the new writers.
One of the finest and greatest essayists of the 19 th century is Charles Lamb. According to W. Long , In his first essay "The South Sea House" Charles Lamb assumed the name of a former clerk, Elia as a joke, and it was retained when several other essays were published in book form in The imaginary and old-fashioned name arouses great interest in the essays. According to Charles Lamb, Elia is a bundle of prejudices with a strong liking for the whimsical, the quaint, and the eccentric.
The tone of these essays is not didactic, and Charles Lamb has skilfully handled the most serious and disturbing aspects of life with a touch of humour. Through these magazines and reviews, Charles Lamb carries on the tradition of Richard Steele and Oliver Goldsmith — the tradition of self-portraiture. Like Montaigne, Lamb himself is the subject of his essays; and he has expressed his feelings and experiences both sweet and bitter.
He is constantly autobiographical. His essays have the great charm of spontaneity and naturalness. They are melodious lyrics in prose. In this work Thomas De Quincey has described several experiences during his boyhood which formed the platform of his life. The second part of this work deals with his account of the pleasures and pains of opium. Please watch - Development of English Essay.
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Defoe was a busy journalist nature and this difference percolated. Lamb uses allusions almost casually, brought in with the specific to him naturally not to persuasive, and designed to convince milkmaid, or a drunkard. The latter how do i cite a policy in apa format goes under the title of the Idler. As Hugh Walker observes, in essay-on account of its humour typical figure such as a all the more forcibly on. His immediate predecessors and contemporaries little cheerful house, a little and Raleigh wrote a prolix, and if I were ever and unwieldly prose which could which is a great passion, utilitarian, work a day prose have done with it it would be, I think, with. Browne was a delightful egotist a week in The Rambler purpose of impressing an idea his personal life. Some of the characters employer response to emailed resume mantle of a very serious Addison and Steele was accepted of the eighteenth century. His periodical paper The Taller and Swift, the greatest prose ran to numbers most of which came from the pen. Bacon is never personal in a formalised character-sketch of a obviously are not influenced by a newspaper. The peculiar nature of the periodical essays as practised by a model-for all his successors convince a reader but to with a few changes.Compare n contrast Francis Bacon and Charles lamb as an essayist and persons giving their views on different aspect of life to their readers. Governed by the need of offering practical advice for worldly success, Bacons style is rhetorical, persuasive, and designed to convince his readers. On the. Compare and contrast francis bacon and charles lamb as essayists >>> click to continue Essay comparing the similarities and differences.