My Long Life

An Autobiographic Sketch

My Long Life

Mary Cowden Clarke (1809–1898) was the daughter of the music publisher Vincent Novello. Charles and Mary Lamb were family friends, and under the inspiration of their Tales from Shakespeare, Mary became a noted Shakespeare scholar, her major work being the Concordance to Shakespeare, which took twelve years to compile, and was to remain a standard work for half a century. From 1856 Clarke and her husband Charles lived in Italy, continuing to publish essays and books, including their joint Cassell's Illustrated Shakespeare. This autobiography, published in 1896, contains many anecdotes and memories of the literary and musical circles in which Mary moved throughout her life: the Lambs, John Keats, the Shelleys, Dickens, Leigh Hunt and Mendelssohn all appear. The book is written in a vivid and engaging style, and records a fascinating nineteenth century life. For more information on this author, see http://orlando.cambridge.org/public/svPeople?person_id=clarmc

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