Charles Lamb was an English essayist with Welsh heritage, best known for his Essays of Elia and for the children's book Tales from Shakespeare, which he produced along with his sister, Mary Lamb. Charles and Mary both suffered periods of mental illness, and Charles spent six weeks in a psychiatric hospital during 1795. He was, however, already making his name as a poet. Despite Lamb's bouts of melancholia, both he and his sister enjoyed an active and rich social life. Their London quarters became a kind of weekly salon for many of the most outstanding theatrical and literary figures of the day. Charles Lamb, having been to school with Samuel Coleridge, counted Coleridge as perhaps his closest friend. Lamb's first publication was in 1796, when four sonnets by "Mr. Charles Lamb of the India House" appeared in Coleridge's Poems on Various Subject.