Item description for Tales from Shakespeare: Children's Classics by Charles Lamb, Elizabeth Shippen Green Elliott & Mary Lamb...
Overview Shakespeare's fourteen comedies and six tragedies retold in prose
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Studio: Children's Classics
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.5" Weight: 1.15 lbs.
Release Date Aug 31, 1999
Publisher RANDOM HOUSE #22
ISBN 0517205742 ISBN13 9780517205747
Availability 0 units.
More About Charles Lamb, Elizabeth Shippen Green Elliott & Mary Lamb
Charles and Mary Lamb were brother and sister, both gifted writers plagued with madness at certain times in their lives. Charles Lamb is best known for the brilliant personal essays he wrote under the name Elia, first published in London magazine from 1820 to 1823. He was highly acclaimed as a critic and was a close friend to some of the greatest authors of his time, particularly Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, and Leigh Hunt. For a time in 1795 96, he suffered a nervous breakdown. Then, in 1796, Mary, in a fit of derangement, fatally stabbed their mother. Charles undertook the charge of his sister, who suffered periodic breakdowns, and she gratefully repaid him with deep affection and caring. Together they produced Tales from Shakespeare (1807) and Mrs. Leicester s School (1809), a largely autobiographical collection of stories mostly written by Mary. In The Adventures of Ulysses (1808), Charles also adapted The Odyssey into a form more accessible to the layman. Charles died in 1834 and Mary in 1847. Susan J. Wolfson, Professor of English at Princeton University, is a widely recognized authority on British Romanticism, the era in which the Lambs Tales from Shakespeare was first published. She is the author of several books, including Formal Charges: The Shaping of Poetry in British Romanticism and Borderlines: The Shiftings of Gender in British Romanticism, as well as many articles on the writers, texts, and issues of literary study, particularly in the Romantic era. She is also on the board of the editors of the Longman Anthology of British Literature and General Editor of the Longman Cultural Editions. Sylvan Barnet received a BA from New York University and an MA and a PhD from Harvard University. At Tufts University, where he served as chair of the Department of English, he taught courses ranging from Chaucer to twentieth-century literature, though he specialized in courses on Renaissance drama. He is the general editor of the Signet Classics Shakespeare series, the author of numerous essays on Shakespeare as well as of A Short Guide to Shakespeare, and the author and coauthor of several dramatic texts, including editions of selected plays by Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw."
Charles Lamb was born in 1775 and died in 1834.
Charles Lamb has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Tales from Shakespeare: Children's Classics?
Sweet short stories Mar 2, 2007
Obviously, if you're an older reader well accustomed to the world of Shakespeare, this is NOT the book for you. These are "children" versions of Shakespeare plays. They're short, sweet, and a little simple, obviously. While they still have the same mature content as the plays, it feels more toned down.
You've got it all, really. Whatever Shakespeare play you love, you'll find it here, from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" to "Macbeth" and through "Hamlet". The stories are obviously the same, but the style is different. They feel a little like fairy tales, which is kind of the point. Children's stories, but of some of the greatest classics of all time.
These stories are fun to read, but don't think they're superb literature. They are a good way to spend an afternoon, but for older readers, the plays are still the way to go. This is better for older children and preteens who aren't quite ready to read Shakespeare himself, but can understand the stories themselves. I recommend it, but don't expect something incredible.
A great work of literature in it's own right Nov 15, 2006
In this volume Charles and Mary Lamb turned 20 of Shakespeare's best loved plays into narratives for children , and it is a work of art in itself. Written in 1807 , the stories are still easily readable and enjoyable 200 years later. It is the ideal companion for one who finds Shakespeare hard to follow in the cold print of the play scripts but would like an easy and gentle introduction to his plays. These stories are today read not only because they are an introduction to Shakespeare but they are the works of Charles Lamb and his sister. The easy flow of Tales , the unity of style throughout , narrative sliding naturally into dialogue and dialogue into narrative , shows what talented authors the Lambs where. Sub-plots and subsidiary inicidents and characters which give richness and variety to the plays on stage can confuse and mar the narratvies.
Thus they are often left out in the narratvies , leading a Shakespeare afficionado to perhaps be alarmed that the antics of Malvolio and the wit and pranks of Sir Toby Belch and Sir Andrew Aguecheek are left out of the Lamb narrative of Twelfth Night. But if they where included they would have confused an already complicated story , one of mistaken indentity and familiar absurdity.
Charles Lamb gives his own ideas as to the sanity or lack thereof of Hamlet and often at the end of the comedies Mary Lamb writes of the characters living happily ever after , giving a longer time frame to the narratives than exisited in the plays. This fresh infusion of the Lamb's own ideas and wisdom , made this a greater work than had they been mere critiques or precis of the plays themselves.
Great intro for kids Jun 21, 2005
When I first began homeschooling my children I came across this book. Since we were to soon see a high school production of Midsummer's Night Dream I read the Lamb version aloud to them before seeing the performance. The results were amazing. My children had no previous exposure to Shakespeare. The Lamb's ability to retain some of Shakespeare's original language greatly enhanced their comprehension. They loved the story and we able to follow the play with ease, laughing and clearly enjoying themselves much to the frustration of some nearby adults who were completely lost. This book helped begin their love affair with Sir William. I am of the opinion reading a well summarized version of his plays and then watching a well done performance will make any child appreciate the genius that is Shakespeare's work.
A Treasure Book May 21, 2005
If you want to learn as a novice the tales of Shakespeare, then this is the book to read. A children's novel of his famous plays. Now to the English Shakespearean scholar this would seem like Shakespeare for dummies, but I would only partially agree. This is a great book to be introduced and gives a general framework before reading him. Even after reading this, its not an easy task trying to read Elizabethan English, which even the experts argue on some of the terms and expressions used. And so, this book lets you understand and I find its written rather well in Charles and Mary Lambs authorship.
After reading this book, which also make good for second, third and fourth readings, I found it much easier to absorb a recent bio on Shakespeare which was very enlightening, Will of the World by Stephen Greenblatt and also other books which attempt explanatory meanings of Elizabethan English to his plays and sonnets. Now you know what the plays are about and go from there. This is a great book, I treasure it.
Read it as a child and now use it as a professor Jan 13, 2005
I remember my father giving me this book when I was young. He was a junior high school english teacher and used this book in class. Together we read the stories and I loved them. Now I am a college professor and use the book in class myself. While some of the summaries are "dated," they are still useful in communicating the basic action of the play to students and the very fact that they are "dated" allows the book to serve as an illustration of how interpretations of Shakespeare's plays have changed since the Lambs' time.