Mad Mary Lamb: Lunacy and Murder in Literary London

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9780393057416: Mad Mary Lamb: Lunacy and Murder in Literary London
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Discusses how the subject, incarcerated within madhouses after killing her mother, became the confidante of such Romantics as Coleridge and Wordsworth and accessed literature in a way that would have been normally impossible for a woman of her class and time, describing how she and essayist brother Charles Lamb collaborated on Tales from Shakespeare. 15,000 first printing.

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About the Author:

Susan Tyler Hitchcock has written seven books. She has a Ph.D. in English and works as a freelance writer and editor. She lives outside of Charlottesville, Virginia.

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One afternoon in 1796, Mary Lamb, aged 31, killed her mother with a carving knife at the dinner table. Like Kathy Watson in her recent The Devil Kissed Her: The Story of Mary Lamb, Hitchcock diagnoses manic-depression at the heart of Mary's matricidal act and her subsequent stays in Britain's early mental asylums. Hitchcock (Coming About: A Family Passage at Sea), however, is far more willing to speculate about the gaps in the record of Mary's life, not to mention her thoughts and feelings as she regained something like a normal existence after the murder, which was judged an act of madness. Despite eventual bestselling collaborations with her brother, essayist Charles Lamb, in Tales from Shakespeare and Poetry for Children, Mary left an erratic documentary trail, with only one significant personal essay, which Hitchcock sees as proto-feminist. Charles, her lifelong protector, remains the best source about his sister and their shared life. But his letters to such friends as Samuel Coleridge and Robert Southey show some reserve about the delicate subject of his sister's mental health. With such gaps, Hitchcock often resorts to reading into existing texts or inferring details of Mary's asylum experiences from typical practices of the time, which only partially resuscitates this tragic but elusive life. 32 illus. not seen by PW.
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9780393327533: Mad Mary Lamb: Lunacy and Murder in Literary London

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ISBN 10:  0393327531 ISBN 13:  9780393327533
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, 2006
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Book Description WW Norton, 2005. 1-82. Condition: New. One night in 1796, Mary Lamb killed her mother. Confined in various madhouses, she discovered a gift for writing, collaborating on the bestselling Tales from Shakespeare with her essayist brother Charles. This authoritative biography tells a story of madness, forgiveness and the redemptive power of the written word. Seller Inventory # 501873

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Book Description Hardcover. Condition: New. Ships From Canada. New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 352 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. From Publishers Weekly One afternoon in 1796, Mary Lamb, aged 31, killed her mother with a carving knife at the dinner table. Like Kathy Watson in her recent The Devil Kissed Her: The Story of Mary Lamb, Hitchcock diagnoses manic-depression at the heart of Mary's matricidal act and her subsequent stays in Britain's early mental asylums. Hitchcock (Coming About: A Family Passage at Sea), however, is far more willing to speculate about the gaps in the record of Mary's life, not to mention her thoughts and feelings as she regained something like a normal existence after the murder, which was judged an act of madness. Despite eventual bestselling collaborations with her brother, essayist Charles Lamb, in Tales from Shakespeare and Poetry for Children, Mary left an erratic documentary trail, with only one significant personal essay, which Hitchcock sees as pro. Seller Inventory # 8974161325

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Book Description Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.: W W Norton & Co Inc, Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., 2005. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. From Publishers Weekly: One afternoon in 1796, Mary Lamb, aged 31, killed her mother with a carving knife at the dinner table. Like Kathy Watson in her recent The Devil Kissed Her: The Story of Mary Lamb, Hitchcock diagnoses manic-depression at the heart of Mary's matricidal act and her subsequent stays in Britain's early mental asylums. Hitchcock (Coming About: A Family Passage at Sea), however, is far more willing to speculate about the gaps in the record of Mary's life, not to mention her thoughts and feelings as she regained something like a normal existence after the murder, which was judged an act of madness. Despite eventual bestselling collaborations with her brother, essayist Charles Lamb, in Tales from Shakespeare and Poetry for Children, Mary left an erratic documentary trail, with only one significant personal essay, which Hitchcock sees as proto-feminist. Charles, her lifelong protector, remains the best source about his sister and their shared life. But his letters to such friends as Samuel Coleridge and Robert Southey show some reserve about the delicate subject of his sister's mental health. With such gaps, Hitchcock often resorts to reading into existing texts or inferring details of Mary's asylum experiences from typical practices of the time, which only partially resuscitates this tragic but elusive life. 32 illus. not seen by PW. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. From Booklist Mary Lamb and her younger brother, Charles, are best known today as the authors of Tales from Shakespeare, a retelling of the plays of Shakespeare for children. But the Lambs were immersed in both scandal and the elite literary circles of their times. In 1796, 32-year-old Mary Lamb stabbed her own mother to death in an apparent act of lunacy, according to the courts of the day. Rather than being sentenced to death, Mary was sent to a madhouse. Although she was released six months later and eventually rejoined her brother, Mary was to have periodic relapses for the rest of her life, and her first trip to the madhouse was hardly the last. But the Lambs were also members of a brilliant literary circle, which included Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, and William Godwin. Touching on the lunacy laws of the day, the plight of women, and the burgeoning children's publishing industry, Hitchcock vividly evokes the changing times the Lambs lived in. A vibrant literary biography. Kristine Huntley Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved. Seller Inventory # ABE-842249479

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