- Elia; and The Last Essays of Elia
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Elia and The Last Essays of Elia are two collections of essays written by Charles Lamb. The essays first began appearing in The London Magazine in 1820 and continued to 1825. They were very popular and were printed in many subsequent editions throughout the nineteenth century. The personal and conversational tone of the essays has charmed many readers.
Lamb himself is the Elia of the collection, and his sister Mary is "Cousin Bridget." Lamb took the name of Elia from an old Italian clerk at the South-Sea House in Lamb's time of employment there; that is, in 1791-1792. Many of these essays contain references to Lamb's contemporaries or events of his day, which may not strike as strong a chord in the heart of the contemporary listener.