Tales from Shakespeare

by Charles and Mary Lamb


Tales from Shakespeare is an English children's book written by the siblings Charles and Mary Lamb in 1807, intended "for the use of young persons" while retaining as much Shakespearean language as possible. Mary Lamb was responsible for retelling the comedies and Charles the tragedies. They omitted the more complex historical tales, including all Roman plays, and modified those they chose to retell in a manner sensitive to the needs of young children, but without resorting to actual censoring. However, subplots and sexual references were removed. They wrote the preface together.
Marina Warner, in her introduction to the 2007 Penguin Classics edition, claims that Mary did not get her name on the title page till the seventh edition in 1838. 
Despite its original target audience, "very young" children from the early twenty-first century might find this book a challenging read, and alternatives are available. Nevertheless, the retelling of Lamb siblings remains uniquely faithful to the original and as such can be useful to children when they read or learn the plays as Shakespeare wrote them.
Excerpted from Tales from Shakespeare on Wikipedia.

person AuthorCharles and Mary Lamb
language CountryGreat Britain
api GenreChildren's literature
copyright CopyrightPublic domain worldwide.
camera_alt Book coverThe Plays of William Shakespeare 
Artist: Sir John Gilbert | wikimedia
book_online EbooksProject Gutenberg
description ScansGoogle-digitized
headphones AudioThanks to Librivox | Internet Archive:
Reader: Karen Savage
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auto_stories Read onlineTales from Shakespeare