Tales from Shakespeare (Yesterday's Classics)
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Tales from Shakespeare (Yesterday's Classics)

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  2,588 ratings  ·  206 reviews
First published in 1807, these simple retellings of the plots of Shakespeare's plays have delighted generations of children, while serving as an excellent introduction to the dramas of our greatest playwright. Shakespeare's own language is used as much as possible to accustom children to the English of the Elizabethan age and so make easier their transition to the reading...more
Published March 28th 2007 by Yesterday's Classics (first published 1807)
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Huda Yahya
أدب شكسبير لا يُقدَّم هكذا
حتى إن كان العمل للناشئين
سيء للغاية
I vaguely recall some years ago Venezuela set up a government department called the Ministry of Love. The idea was to inculcate in poor women the understanding that their babies from the very moment they were born would respond to any stimuli. Poverty shouldn't stop mothers from giving their babies experience of smell and sound and touch and...

My parents certainly wanted that for us. Knowing how poor we were when I was little, I still marvel at the amazing opportunities they conjured up for us t...more
Malak Alrashed
Jul 24, 2014 Malak Alrashed rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Non-english speakers

* This review is going to be slightly short.

I got this book on my 20th birthday. A friend of mine knew how much I suffer reading Shakespeare and that I always read simple summaries before reading the original plays, so it was very thoughtful of her to bring a book that contains the most famous plays of Shakespeare retold in a very clear and easy-to-follow style. The plays are written as "short-stories" which made the book even easier to comprehend.

Generally, the book is pretty helpful for non-En...more
I'm not so sure that this book is appropriately titled. Many of the adaptations in here are too far above the developmental level of what I consider to be "children," but they are probably perfectly appropriate for kids between 12 and oh, 14 or 15 years old. Kids edging into 14, 15, and certainly 16 years old should be receiving some exposure to William Shakespeare's own writing, but I think that this book might help them understand the arc of some of Shakespeare's plays better.

Romeo and Juliet:...more
The tales in this volume are written for children and have become literature in their own right.

Writing the stories was a project for Mary Lamb while in a sanitarium for murdering her mother. Her brother Charles Lamb faithfully visited his sister every day. They divided the tales up, each wrote half and they would read them to each other.

Regardless of the origin of the stories they are brief descriptions of some of Shakespeare's plays and are nice introductions to the work of the Bard.
سارة درويش
الكتاب جيد ، اختصر أكثر من رواية شهيرة لشكسبير وعرضها
المشكلة في كل روايات شكسبير أن الشخصيات التي يقطر قلبها شراً منذ بداية الرواية تتغير فجأة وتشعر بالندم لمجرد ان شخصاً ما أنبها وذكرها بكل السوء الذي فعلته
ارى هذا غير واقعي وسبب ضعيف لتغير الأحداث
Lisa Vegan
Nov 12, 2007 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children ages 8-12
These stories are a perfect way to introduce children to Shakespeare’s plays. I loved this book when I was 10, and I’m convinced it’s one of the main reasons I was a Shakespeare fanatic well before I entered high school.
OK, first: I am literature purist, and generally am very adverse to "children's versions" of anything. I would instead start by teaching a simpler play like Romeo and Juliet or Julius Caesar in say, sixth or seventh grade as an introduction to Shakespeare. I suppose the Lamb version, is all right to introduce the Bard to very young students. For my fifth grade class, I taught the Lamb version and I still fear it may have done them a disservice. Actually, I was so concerned that it might bleed ou...more
Tales From Shakespeare is a novel that consists of 20 of Shakespeares classic writtings . From the famous ''Romeo and Juliet'' to the classic'' Merchant of Venice'' and many more of his works. When reading this book I was soon to realize that it was quite easy to understand considering the difficulty of Shakespeare old time writing style. This book makes it easier to understand the works of Shakespeare .I reccommend this book for students or as others recommend it children who are interested in...more
Alexander Arsov
Charles and Mary Lamb

Tales from Shakespeare

Penguin Popular Classics, Paperback, [1995].

12mo. 313 pp. Preface by the authors [pp. 5-7].

First published, 1807.
Penguin Popular Classics, 1995.



The Tempest
A Midsummer Night's Dreams
The Winter's Tale
Much Ado About Nothing
As You Like It
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
The Merchant of Venice
King Lear
All's Well That Ends Well
The Taming of the Shrew
The Comedy of Errors
Measure for Measure
Twelfth Night, or What You Will
Timon of Athens
A good book really that serves as a good introduction for those who are going to study Shakespeare. The book presents Shakespearean plays in prose, using an easy language that prepares students to get a good view of the play before reading the original text. However, the book sometimes dispenses with some parts which are, despite not part of the main plot, serve some purpose in the play. For example, in presenting King Lear, there is no mention whatsoever of Gloucester, and Bedlam Begger is not...more
The edition I have was published in 1863. I got it several years ago in Amsterdam. These snippits of Shakespeare provide a wonderful overview for many of his best known works. They were written to instruct young children (particularly nineteenth century girls) on the basic stories in Shakespeare's plays, so that when they grew older and began studying Shakespear in earnest, they would already be familiar with the basics and could focus on learning the more subtle parts of his work. Even as an ad...more
Hyelin Lee
I need to read this book for my summer vacation homework.
In my book I had " Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, The Tempest, Othello, Macbeth, King Lear".
These six stories' characters are have jealous, love, lie to others.
my favourite story was " King Lear".

King Lear was had three daughters and King Lear loved his third daughter Cordelia.
So he asked " What do you think of your love for me?" to his three daughters. his two daughters are lie to his father because they want to have lands and castles. But Co...more
If you are looking for a brief, relatively accessible, summary of Shakespeare's plays, this fits the bill. It took me a while to get into the style, but once I did, I began to very much appreciate the presentation of the essence of each story. Of course much is lost, but they do seek to maintain some of the key lines in the key scenes of the various plays. I also like the fact that it was written a long time ago for children and yet it still works. I'm not sure kids today would appreciate it, bu...more
Shakespeare is so difficult to wade through. Charles and Mary Lamb took difficult language and made the stories accessible enough that my 6 year old and I have enjoyed getting to know these classics. Of course, we used Barbie dolls and stuff animals to represent all the different characters so that we wouldn't get completely lost, but still... :)

I'm blessed enough to have my grandmother's 1923 edition published by The MacMillan Company. Not sure if the illustrations the same as the original firs...more
If you aren't familiar enough with Shakespeare to follow along without getting lost, or if you're taking your kids to see one of his plays, this book is invaluable. I began taking my three daughters to performances by a Shakespeare company that would visit our town each year when they were nine. Before we went, we'd read the version in the Charles and Mary Lamb book. The first play was Twelfth Night and I think they were laughing more than the adults because they understood the story, knew the c...more
Aug 23, 2010 rabbitprincess rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who want a non-threatening intro to Shakespeare
A very good way to introduce kids to the stories of Shakespeare. Apparently I found Comedy of Errors just as hilarious then as I do now, and I was very indignant with Regan and Goneril's treatment of their father Lear ("I would never do that to MY dad"). And anything that makes Hamlet accessible to a Grade 6 student is probably a good thing.

Also am I crazy or does Shakespeare have an earring on the cover of the Puffin Classics edition?? I totally think he does and was utterly amused by that disc...more
This book is a true jewel. A home schooling treasure. Oh the plays we read! Oh the wonderful conversations we had!

Iago's character in Othello lead to long talks about "tricky people" (predators) and the different things they do to allure people. We talked about why people would write humorous comedies as we laughed through Much Ado about Nothing and Comedy of Errors. We talked about greed in "The Merchant of Venice" and true versus false friends in "Two Gentlemen from Verona" and gangs in "Romeo...more
One of my children begged to read Romeo and Juliet. She was in third grade and all of the books I brought home from the library were of no help. They were picture book. She'd say... "But, I want the real book." I combed seven libraries and numerous book stores. Then one day in a dusty area of a used book store under piles and piles of books I found this treasure. It is a free download as an epub file.
My daughter has read it cover to cover several times and simply adores this book. I read it and...more
Need to get to know some of the plays from Shakespeare that you haven't read or seen. This is the book. It is in the public domain so it is easy to read or listen too. I listened to a librivox version with Karen Savage as the narrator. It was great.
A quick accessible read. Meant for children as an introduction to Shakespeare. Dismissing that from my mind I thought:
Not all plays were entirely enjoyable nor rich as I suspect they might have been in the original text if by chance were deciphered by a future me with the sufficient amount of patience to linger on the difficult lines and language of the distant era- in fact I found a couple painfully raw- but all provide an easy clean view of the plays.
Perhaps suitable for acquiring a backgrou...more
كتاب جيد لمن لم يتعود على قراءه الروايات الطويله و لكنه فى نفس الوقت يفتح لك باب الفضول للبحث عن القصص الأصليه و قرائتها كامله
I have used this with now seven children for home schooling. No, it's not Shakespeare's Shakespeare, it's Charles and Mary Lamb's rendition.

It is a great way to introduce the Shakespeare to a younger child as a way to get a grasp of the story. Then we read the real Shakespeare version and you are able to enjoy the story and the way Shakespeare writes without trying to figure out the characters, plot etc.

And I might add, it is a good way to become familiar with the tales if you are an adult too.

Abrar alomair
الكتاب مختصر للروايات
وترجمة دار البحار ليست بلجودة المطلوبة
I enjoyed reading this book. It contains most of Shakespeare's plays which are given as more than just summaries. They are tales which are give the whole story of the play, many time quoting parts of it, too.

Even though, I learnt the plot of all these plays that doesn't stop me from reading them myself. I think it actually helped me pick which ones I want to read first. For example, having read Hamlet and As You Like It already and currently reading Romeo and Juliet, I would like to read next T...more
2.5 stars.
This is bowdlerized Shakespeare and little more.
All the enjoyment I got out of this collection was thanks to Marina Warner's introduction, which does much to provide context and explain the purpose and intent of the Lambs. As historical documentation and an exercise in bowdlerization, editing, condensation and translation, it is a fascinating document, but the shortened and censored stories have, for the most part, been stripped of their vitality and ambiguities, becoming one-sided and...more
Rebecca Reid
I recalled I’d read summaries of Shakespeare in eighth grade English class, so I determined to find the volume that we’d read. I discovered Charles and Mary Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare, originally published in 1807, and I’m almost certain that was my eighth grade exposure. It was time to read the volume in full. While I’m glad I rediscovered this classic and it has a place still I'm sure, I’m hesitant to recommend it for children today.

It’s not to say that there isn’t a place for play summarie...more
I read this book because I wanted to have a basic knowledge of Shakespeare's stories. Because, let's face it, it's likely that I won't read all of his production.

The book is directed to children and youth, but to be honest I wouldn't read all of these stories to children. I mean The Tempest suggests that keeping Caliban as slave is okay because he's a son of evil witch and lazy and ugly. And The Merchant of Venice has a old stereotype of evil, greedy Jew.

Also the stories are simplified. Most o...more
This book seems like a good one to include in a unit study of Shakespeare. The summaries here would be a good way to introduce the plays to a young child, and then have them read the actual play. I believe they will understand them better with some foreknowledge.

However, just by reading these stories, I have come to believe that Shakespeare wasn't the great literary genius people claim he was. (Don't hurt me for saying that, please!) When I read Othello in my literature class this year, I though...more
P Ukil
Shakespeare's is considered to be one of the greatest contributions to English literature. I, once tried to read the unabridged, not retold version of Shakespeare but got fed up due to the difficulty of that old and boring language in addition to the prelonged texts. When I procured this retold version I was relieved and immediately started reading it in a haste so that I could taste Shakespeare's as quickly as possible. Slowly I realized that reading this book in a haste meant reading just for...more
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Charles Lamb (London, 10 February 1775 – Edmonton, 27 December 1834) 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 (1764–1847).

More about Charles Lamb...
Essays of Elia More Tales from Shakespeare The Adventures of Ulysses To War in a Stringbag A Dissertation Upon Roast Pig & Other Essays

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