Charles Lamb (1775–1834) was an English essayist and poet best known for Essays of Elia and the children’s book Tales from Shakespeare, written with his sister, Mary. Both siblings suffered mental illness, and in a state of acute mania, Mary killed their mother with a kitchen knife. Declared a lunatic, she was spared imprisonment when Charles took full responsibility for her. Although Lamb never married, the two hosted a weekly salon in London, counting Coleridge among their friends. Lamb’s final legacy is his mastery of the essay.