A Delight in Digression
In the north London suburb of Edmonton where I grew up, virtually the only feature of note is Charles Lamb’s cottage in Church Street, which is marked with a blue plaque. The essayist lived there in the first half of the nineteenth century. Lamb was born in 1775 and in 1792 began thirty-three years of tedious work as a clerk at the East India Company counting-house. Over the length of his adult life he lived – on and off – with his sister Mary. Their story is told in Sarah Burton’s highly readable A Double Life: A Biography of Charles and Mary Lamb (2003).