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The Lambs of London by Peter Ackroyd
The Lambs of London are Charles and Mary Lamb (who wrote Tales From Shakespeare for children), and at the beginning of Peter Ackroyd's novel, he's an emerging writer who drinks too much and she's forced into domesticity helping her mother care for her senile father. The two of them are Shakespeare scholars, memorizing and quoting The Bard at length. Into their lives comes young William Ireland, son of a antiquarian bookseller who possesses what appears to be a treasure trove of authenticated Shakespeare memorabilia. Mary is smitten and when William claims to have a lost play of Shakespeare, they decide to put on its production, with comical and disastrous results. The Lambs of London has received mixed reviews with the Independent saying, "All in all, this is a marvellously adroit tale."