Certain women, myself amongst them, fall for a certain kind of man: irresponsible, plain of face, depressed, tending toward drug and/or alcohol addiction. All too often these types are charismatic and given to poetry. Thus Fadiman’s passion for Charles Lamb and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Lamb, who cared for his sister Mary after she fatally stabbed their mother, penned many an essay while toiling in positively Dickensian conditions at the East India House, where he (poorly) tallied figures. Like his sister, he battled insanity, though somewhat more successfully.
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