No stars. Of all the bad recent books on Mary lamb, and her inseparable brother, Charles, this was easily the most disappointing. Ackroyd has become the premier literary hack of his generation; churning out books, fiction and not, of such embarrassing insufficiency, both as narrative and history, as to reduce all other profligates to pikers. Ackroyd's formula is now basically a first person Wiki -- with less fact checking. This hurried little number recycles every ugly psychological supposition and is only a novel in the sense of not requiring specific acknowledgement of the second and third rate theorists from whom these ideas were nicked. And did I mention? not really even much to do with the Lambs. An embarrassing effort, even by Ackroyd's increasingly lax standards.