Back to Top

Tag Archives: Mary Lamb

This is sort of a continuation on my post about Mary Lamb and mental health care in Regency England. I snooped around online and found some great websites, for anyone who might like to know more. (this just gives a little more history on Bedlam, a link to their modern museum, a few pics) (some cool maps) (The Imperial War Museum website–their building incorporates what is left of the original Bedlam, which I thought was fascinating, though I’ve never visited this museum) (I searched all over the web for a good pic of those statues, and only found one here, of all places, at the Bedlam Asset Management website. It’s a cartoony pic, but you can see sort of what they looked like. Not sure I would let this company manage my assets, though…) (more Bedlam history)

Some Mary Lamb stuff: (Tales from Shakespeare) (a pic of Mary as an old woman)

And, just because I feel like it,

Have a great weekend!

I’ve just read a very odd little book–recommended to me by Pam Rosenthal–of children’s stories by Mary Lamb.

Of the ten stories, three are written by Mary’s brother Charles, and they form a collection of stories told in the voices of young girls who have just arrived at a boarding school. The describe who they are, who their families are, and why they were sent to school.

Some of them are quite charming–one of them prattles on and on about a visit to the country (ooh! pretty sheep! pretty cows! more pretty sheep!) until the tactful Mrs. Leicester intervenes, stopping her in mid flow: I thought I perceived some ladies were rather weary of hearing so much of the visit to grandmamma. Some of them have a macabre air: there’s a girl who learns to read from studying the letters on her mother’s tombstone; and a very odd tale about two girls, one born to a noble family and the other a commoner, who are exchanged at birth. They yearn for, and sometimes lose their parents, and often are sent on unexpected visits to distant relatives; now all of them have been parted from their families to attend the school.

It’s an interesting venture into the world of Georgian childhood, but even more interesting in light of Mary Lamb’s life. She suffered from bipolar disorder and when she was twenty-two, murdered her mother. She was in and out of mental asylums for the rest of her life, and cared for by her brother and official guardian Charles, whom, sadly, she outlived. So when I read these stories, I was thinking of what I knew of Mary, particularly from reading Kathy Watson’s biography of Mary, The Devil Kissed Her.

Has anyone read either of these books or anything by Charles Lamb? Or do you have any favorite books that evoke childhood for you?

Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By