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It is believed that he suffered from smallpox during his early years, which forced him into a long period of convalescence.After this period of recovery Lamb began to take lessons from Mrs Reynolds, a woman who lived in the Temple and is believed to have been the former wife of a lawyer. Lucas suggests that sometime in 1781 Charles left Mrs Reynolds and began to study at the Academy of William Bird.
Despite the school's brutality, Lamb got along well there, due in part, perhaps, to the fact that his home was not far distant, thus enabling him, unlike many other boys, to return often to its safety.
Years later, in his essay "Christ's Hospital Five and Thirty Years Ago", Lamb described these events, speaking of himself in the third person as "L". at school; and can well recollect that he had some peculiar advantages, which I and other of his schoolfellows had not.
Charles would continue to work there for 25 years, until his retirement with pension (the "superannuation" he refers to in the title of one essay).
In 1792 while tending to his grandmother, Mary Field, in Hertfordshire, Charles Lamb fell in love with a young woman named Ann Simmons.
His friends lived in town, and were near at hand; and he had the privilege of going to see them, almost as often as he wished, through some invidious distinction, which was denied to us." Christ's Hospital was a typical English boarding school and many students later wrote of the terrible violence they suffered there. principal or headteacher) of the school from 1778 to 1799 was Reverend James Boyer, a man renowned for his unpredictable and capricious temper.
In one famous story Boyer was said to have knocked one of Leigh Hunt's teeth out by throwing a copy of Homer at him from across the room.Charles Lamb (10 February 1775 – 27 December 1834) was an English essayist, poet, and antiquarian, best known for his Essays of Elia and for the children's book Tales from Shakespeare, co-authored with his sister, Mary Lamb (1764–1847). Lucas, his principal biographer, as "the most lovable figure in English literature".Friends with such literary luminaries as Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey, William Wordsworth, and William Hazlitt, Lamb was at the centre of a major literary circle in England. Lamb was born in London, the son of Elizabeth Field and John Lamb.Lamb's older brother was too much his senior to be a youthful companion to the boy but his sister Mary, being born eleven years before him, was probably his closest playmate.Lamb was also cared for by his paternal aunt Hetty, who seems to have had a particular fondness for him.Mrs Reynolds must have been a sympathetic schoolmistress because Lamb maintained a relationship with her throughout his life and she is known to have attended dinner parties held by Mary and Charles in the 1820s. His time with William Bird did not last long, however, because by October 1782 Lamb was enrolled in Christ's Hospital, a charity boarding school chartered by King Edward VI in 1553.A thorough record of Christ's Hospital is to be found in several essays by Lamb as well as The Autobiography of Leigh Hunt and the Biographia Literaria of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, with whom Charles developed a friendship that would last for their entire lives.It was there in Crown Office Row that Charles Lamb was born and spent his youth.Lamb created a portrait of his father in his "Elia on the Old Benchers" under the name Lovel.Both Charles and his sister Mary suffered a period of mental illness.As he himself confessed in a letter, Charles spent six weeks in a mental facility during 1795: Coleridge, I know not what suffering scenes you have gone through at Bristol. The six weeks that finished last year and began this your very humble servant spent very agreeably in a mad house at Hoxton—I am got somewhat rational now, and don't bite any one.