Sunday, June 3, 2012
Charles Lamb and His Hertfordshire by Reginald L. Hine
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
As largely pointless exercises in hero worship and or local history go, this little book could be a template of how best to over-do it. Everything about this book, from the breathless and rather over-excited style, to the very brief materials from which it was made, suggests that only the truly obsessive collector of Lamb need ever look at this book.
That said, yeah, I'm kind of that person and I enjoyed the book accordingly. Not only does the author track every reference and location, quoting all the relevant passages from the Essays, he describes in considerable detail the changes to the landscape since Lamb's time, and celebrates all that survives from that day.
There are a number of charming illustrations, some particularly of town and street previously unknown to me, the rest taken from an edition of Lamb that I specially treasure for exactly these.
Considering the original date of this book's publication, I doubt this book would now prove a good guide, but as the manifestation of a fellow cultist's devotion, I'm glad to have come across this reprint. No one else need bother with this.
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