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Tales from Shakespeare

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  4,045 Ratings  ·  280 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 1st 2007 by Yesterday's Classics (first published 1993)
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Huda Yahya
أدب شكسبير لا يُقدَّم هكذا
حتى إن كان العمل للناشئين
سيء للغاية
Oct 02, 2009 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
It’s a good sampling of Shakespeare’s comedies and tragedies, but I can’t help wondering why they omitted his histories? What about Julius Caesar or Richard III? Goodness gracious if children can deal with Hamlet and Macbeth, they can deal with the former and even absorb some—well according to Shakespeare anyway—history as well.

But aside from that technical complaint, it is an enjoyable collection and well-written. Charles and Mary Lamb do an excellent job capturing the essence of each of the p
Safa Fatima
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare are a prose form of Shakespeare's plays for children by the writer siblings Charles and Mary Lamb. While certainly keeping the magic alive by use of Shakespeare's original words but also not letting go of convenience at any point, the language is very easy, but still perfect for Shakespeare.

It's such a powerful rendition of Shakespeare's plays in a very accessible format, interesting and easy to read for adults and children alike.

The book is short but that doesn't
Malak Alrashed
May 29, 2011 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
Mar 11, 2015 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!
David Sarkies
Apr 05, 2016 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
Feb 29, 2012 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.
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 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 02, 2015 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. :)
Jun 04, 2011 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
Read this with the girls many years ago but want to reread.

This is actually a totally different book from the original Tales from Shakespeare which I started a couple days ago. I have both books. Read this one in 2002 with daughters. It is illustrated but GRs has it tied to all the other editions written by Charles and Mary Lamb. Not sure how to untie it, so I may have to delete and re-enter the book in order to 'fix' the official record. Grrrr! The dif is the illustrated edition is not complet
Oct 30, 2009 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
I give this book 5 stars because William Shakespeare was a great and imaginative writer who wrote lots of different types of plays like comedies and tragedies and politics. In this book they are written more like short stories than plays. I liked some more than others so I am going to rate them here in order of favourite to least favourite.

King Lear - 5 stars -it was my favourite - such interesting characters but so tragic
Midsummers Night Dream - 5 stars - very funny and loved the magic
Romeo and
Jun 11, 2014 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
Oct 02, 2012 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 out ...more
Tajwar Rahman
Dec 06, 2015 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
Sep 09, 2012 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
I love Shakespeare and have had the opportunity to see many of his plays at the Stratford Festival.

I picked this book because I want to share his writing with my students. I want to get them interested in the stories before presenting the full play.

Also, this way the class can pick which play they want to read and study.

7.3.12. I just finished the book. I didn't much particularly like it. I don't think that I will have my student's read it after all.

While reading some of the summaries I felt li
Apr 01, 2011 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
Hannah Walsh
Jan 10, 2015 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
Mar 28, 2012 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 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
May 10, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: big-red-circle
They took out many of the sub-plots. No standing up for bastards .... no rude mechanicals!

It would be fun if the clothes-swapping thing happened more often in our real lives:
- Stuart's been sacked!
- Why?
- His female boss dressed as a teenage male intern for a week and caught him taking it easy and bitching about her.
- Ouch.

Dec 27, 2011 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.
Renee M
Jan 02, 2015 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.
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.
Aug 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kidlit, shakespeare, 2017
I read this in the context of reading all of Shakespeare in a year. Understandably, the Lambs' version pales in comparison. It was a good review of (and in a few cases, introduction to) the Bard's plays, twenty in all.

The Lambs pared down the plot lines, bowdlerized the bawdy bits, but always slipped in some real Shakespeare to the story.

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
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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 (1764–1847).

More about Charles Lamb...
“oftentimes these ministers of darkness tell us truths in little things, to betray us into deeds of greatest consequence.” 1 likes
“O, no” 0 likes
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