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“We are such stuff as dreams are made on…” While the language of William Shakespeare’s plays can make them challenging for some readers, their plots are filled with fantastical, almost fairytale-like plot devices—misunderstandings involving identical twins, magical forests, ghosts and witches, and foolish kings—that make them irresistible to almost any reader. This gorgeous new edition of Charles and Mary Lamb’s beloved book collects their versions of twenty Shakespeare comedies and tragedies. Far from being mere plot summaries, the Tales closely follow the plays, frequently incorporating Shakespeare’s exact language into the thrilling and dramatic narratives. Beautifully illustrated with classic artwork by Arthur Rackham, W. Paget, and Robert Anning Bell, Tales from Shakespeare provides a unique way to experience these enduring plays.
About the Author
Charles Lamb (1775–1834) and his sister Mary Lamb (1764–1847) were not only creatures of the English Romantic Movement, they were also at its vanguard. Charles was considered one of the greatest essayists in English letters for his imaginative and witty prose styling published under the pseudonym of “Elia,” and Mary wrote poetry and prose that have enjoyed a renewed scholarly interest with the rise of women’s studies. In 1807, they published their most enduring work, Tales from Shakespeare, prose versions of twenty Shakespeare plays targeted at young readers. Even though Mary wrote 14 of the book’s chapters (she handled the romances and comedies, while Charles tackled the tragedies), her name was not credited on the book until the seventh edition in 1838. Since then, it has been translated into dozens of languages and has never been out of print.