Tales from Shakespeare: Designed for the Use of Young People, by Charles Lamb
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Tales from Shakespeare was written to introduce young readers to the plays of William Shakespeare. The plots were simplified, and unsuitable themes were removed. Many of the more convoluted historical plays were left out.
Although the stories are paraphrased, Charles Lamb did his best to choose language that would preserve the flavour of the Shakespeare original and reflect “the beautiful English tongue in which he wrote”. Tales from Shakespeare has stood the test of time. Although it is probably too advanced for today’s ‘young readers’, it is charming and readable with a personal, even conversational, tone.
Charles Lamb collaborated with his sister Mary in writing the Tales; Mary Lamb was responsible for retelling the comedies and Charles worked on the tragedies. However, Mary did not get her name on the title page until the seventh edition in 1838.