Tales from Shakespeare, Paperback Book

Tales from Shakespeare Paperback

Edited by Marina Warner

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


As children, Charles and Mary Lamb took great delight in exploring their benefactor's extensive library; as adults they began writing children's books together that also appealed to all generations.

In "Tales of Shakespeare", they wished to bring their favourite plays to life for children too young to read and appreciate Shakespeare's work.

This collection of twenty of Shakespeare's stories begins with "The Tempest", which explores themes of magic, power and reconciliation, and ends with "Pericles", "Prince of Tyre", an exotic play of love, loss and family ties.

Between these two tales are twelve romances and comedies, all written by Mary, and six tragedies, all written by Charles.

Each tale is told chronologically and retains much of Shakespeare's lyricism, phrasing and rhythm.

Together, they form a captivating and accessible introduction to the Bard's work.


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Such a slender little volume and how apparently unimportant. After all, if one reads seriously, why a collection of retold versions of the bard aimed at school children. Ah, but they are witty and to the point and entirely delightful.Recently I have been reading something that extolled the virtues of Charles Lamb, so I have been feeling the need to fill in the gaps in my education caused by a far too liberal education. And I have been intrigued by the stories of Mary Lamb, who was a sad and sorry case. This little edition seemed a likely introduction.Ah, well, with the strongly worded warning that the retelling of the Merchant of Venice is distasteful to be kind, may I say that this is a blithe book. I want to buy it for any student who is slogging through class readings without the guide of an inspired teacher. Heck, I want to buy it for all sorts of people who don't get Shakespeare. The two authors quote a smattering of stirring speeches, carefully chosen and in enough quantity to whet and not slake a taste for dialogue. Most of the big plays, the tragedies are the sphere of Charles Lamb, while the comedies belong to his sister. She has a wry wit that flutters happily through Puck, Benedick, Rosalind and she pitches her tone to be as a confident to the reader.On another point,I really like the cover and want to see more Sadowski.