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Tales from Shakespeare

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,325 Ratings  ·  220 Reviews
The stories of twenty of Shakespeare's most popular plays
Paperback, 192 pages
Published December 1st 2006 by Echo Library (first published 1807)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Oct 02, 2009 notgettingenough rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, drama
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
David Sarkies
Apr 14, 2016 David Sarkies rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
The Bard for Children
15 April 2016

I reckon the first time I encountered this collection was back in high school when our teacher wanted to teach us the Scottish Play, but didn't feel that we were ready to actually start reading the proper text, namely because she felt that maybe we wouldn't fully understand Shakespeare's language (despite the fact that this was year 11 English). Mind you, as we all know, Shakespeare isn't the easiest of authors to read (though I must admit that he is a lot easi
Malak Alrashed
Jul 24, 2014 Malak Alrashed rated it liked it  ·  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
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:
Feb 29, 2012 Phillip rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
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.
Lisa Vegan
Nov 12, 2007 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Jun 04, 2011 Robin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: at-home
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
Mar 13, 2015 Claudia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theater-like
I'm not very fond of theater, not even Shakespeare's, but these tales are wonderful! Written in an accessible language, they are a very enjoyable reading for children as well as for adults. I reread them many times :) Recommended!
Oct 30, 2009 Kay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, homeschool
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
Jun 11, 2014 Estrella rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 25, 2015 Carolyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lovely book for those who want to get the gist of Shakespeare (and/or children). Lovely prose. Good bedtime story book, although you may have to explain some words. :)
Tajwar Rahman
Dec 06, 2015 Tajwar Rahman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about stories from the famous poet, Shakespeare. This book consists of Shakespeare's finest works. Shakespeare usually writes his pieces as if it was written for a play, however, this book takes the plays and is rewritten as normal stories. These "normal stories" still contain English and grammar that was used in the 15-1600s. The readers would still get the basic idea of the story, if not the whole story. I would not recommend this book to those who don't understand old English and ...more
Hannah  Walsh
Jan 19, 2015 Hannah Walsh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tales From Shakespeare is a collection of Shakespeare's plays that have been simplified and re-written as prose.

I was impressed by this. The stories are well-written and easy to read. I know that a lot of Shakespeare's beautiful wording was cut out, so I'd still love to read the actual plays, but these were perfect introductions.

Basically, if you want to find out who on earth Macbeth is but you aren't quite ready to delve into the play, look no further.

Much Ado About Nothing (benedic
Sep 09, 2012 Rania rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 29, 2012 Meghan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Hyelin Lee
Aug 29, 2013 Hyelin Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 18, 2011 Jon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Renee M
Jan 02, 2015 Renee M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A charming retelling of several of the stories in Shakespeare"a plays. Told in the form of short stories. I would have adored this as a child.
Mar 28, 2012 Kathie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 really liked it  ·  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
Apr 24, 2016 Saphraneet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s, classics
In honor of April being the month of William Shakespeare's birth and death, I thought it was time to read some of his works. I haven't read much Shakespeare since H.S. English class so I thought that perhaps by reading abridged versions I would become familiar with the characters and plots and then more wisely choose which of his original plays to tackle first.

This book by Charles and Mary Lamb proved to be just the thing as well as a very enjoyable read. The authors seemed to have done a great
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
Dec 27, 2011 Crystal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, childrens
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.
Wondefully concise versions of Shakespeares plays in the ultimate homage to the Bard.

I have used this book so many times, to read the synopsis of a play before seeing it performed at Stratford.
Jun 11, 2014 Farah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Amr Rashad
A great introduction for the world of Shakespeare. Can't wait to start reading the actual work of Shakespeare.
Feb 10, 2014 Terri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-lit
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.

Melissa Stringfield
Thank you Charles and Mary for simplifying everything.
Apr 27, 2015 Claires2 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My goodness! This is such a great book. In my opinion, Shakespeare is one the greatest writers of all time, and Charles and Mary Lamb did such a wonderful job condensing the stories. My favorites are King Lear and Julius Caesar, but all of the stories are intriguing. I’m such a Shakespeare buff, and any story or poem of his is just beautifully crafted. I enjoyed the way these arrangers kept the eloquent air of Shakespeare’s plays. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys Shakespeare or classic lite ...more
Apr 04, 2014 Seamaiden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Charles Lamb was an English essayist with Welsh heritage, best known for his E"ssays 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...

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“oftentimes these ministers of darkness tell us truths in little things, to betray us into deeds of greatest consequence.” 1 likes
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