Sunday, 8 February 2015

Solitude together: Charles Lamb on Quakers

For your weekend edification, I have made a quick (and slightly abridged) audio reading of Charles Lamb's 1821 essay, "A Quaker's Meeting." It is a playful meditation on the benefits of communal silence, as opposed to private silence. "Give me a sympathetic solitude!" Charles Lamb is not very famous anymore, which is a shame because he is quite wonderful, a great humorist with a good heart. He was once described as "the most loveable figure in English literature" – a laughable exaggeration given the existence of Boswell's Dr Johnson. But being the second-most-loveable person in English literature is still a pretty good claim to fame. If you want to give him a try, his Essays of Elia are the thing. Here is my Sunday-morning reading of "A Quakers' Meeting" (or you can download it here):


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