Books: Lamb's Sister

THE ORDEAL OF BRIDGET ELIA—Ernest C. Ross—University of Oklahoma ($2.50).

At 10, Mary Lamb became a devout Mohammedan. Even then her nerves were high-strung: she was much upset when her Grandmother Field remained an Unbeliever. But Mary soon found a new interest: from the names on gravestones she began teaching her younger brother, Charles, the future author of the Essays of Elia, his letters.

At 31, Mary Lamb threw a fork at a domestic, missed the girl, but harpooned her feeble-minded father. Then she killed her mother with a carving knife. Such behavior was considered extraordinary even in literary circles that included Cole...

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