THE  by Katharine Anthony

THE

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

An interpretative psyche-biography of the Lambs which takes advantage of modern findings in mental disorders to clarify the picture of Charles and Mary Lamk, indissolubly linked together. The environment, so alien to childhood, in which they grew up; the precociousness of the two; the London of their day, the Temple, the family life, -- these are shown as roots that long endured. Then came the awful breakdown that drove Mary to murder -- their mother, too mercifully covered up for Mary's own chances of recovery, resulting in recurrent manic-depressive states. But in compensation, there was the widening of their circle of friends, the many planes of emotional and intellectual experiences they shared, their literary development, Charles receiving full credit, while Mary stayed in woman's then-ordained place. There were critical times, not only from Mary's fre asylum isc, but from Charles' compulsive changes, as the love between then often terted and caused hav in both mental balances. Then there was Charles' love for Fany Kelly, for young Iscla; their mutual concern about Coleridge, Nes, Wordsworth, Godwin -- and many others. Charles' last years were spent with Mary is country see; Mary outlived him for many years....This is a modern evaluation, clinically corrective, which adds many new facets to the story of the famous brother and sister, without detracting from the old charm of mutual loyalty. It is, too, a picture of the Georgian world, the many cross currents of the times and their meanings. Noteworthy -- if controversial.

Pub Date: March 19th, 1945
Publisher: Knopf