A rapturous appreciation of pork crackling, a touching description of hungry London chimney sweeps, a discussion of the strange pleasure of eating pineapple and a meditation on the delights of Christmas feasting are just some of the subjects of these personal, playful writings from early nineteenth-century essayist Charles Lamb. Exploring the joys of food and also our complicated social relationship with it, these essays are by turns sensuous, mischievous, lyrical and self-mocking. Filled with a sense of hunger, they are some of the most fascinating and nuanced works ever written about eating, drinking and appetite.
Charles Lamb (1775-1834) was an English essayist best known for his humorous Essays of Elia from which the essay 'A Dissertation Upon Roast Pig' is taken. Lamb enjoyed a rich social life and became part of a group of young writers that included William Hazlitt, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron and Samuel Taylor Coleridge with whom he shared a lifelong friendship. Lamb never achieved the same literary success as his friends but his influence on the English essay form cannot be underestimated and his book, Specimens of the English Dramatic Poets is remembered for popularising the work of Shakespeare's contemporaries.