Illustration by Arthur Rackham for the 1909 edition of Tales from Shakespeare depicting Bottom and Titania from A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Tales from Shakespeare is a classic children's book by the British brother-and sister writers Charles and Mary Lamb. First published in 1807, the book quickly became an influential text. It has been republished many times with different illustrations by various artists.

The Lambs wrote Tales from Shakespeare to introduce "young people not accustomed to the dramatic form of writing" to the famous plays by William Shakespeare. Selecting twenty popular comedies and tragedies which they considered appropriate for children, they simplified the plots and retold them in narrative form. They omitted any parts deemed inappropriate for young readers but preserved Shakespeare's original wording whenever possible.

Modern readers may find the Lambs' retellings somewhat old-fashioned and didactic. Tales from Shakespeare, however, remains an excellent introduction to Shakespeare.


Tales from Shakespeare 1922

illustration from a 1922 edition of Tales from Shakespeare that shows Shakespeare presenting his stories to Queen Elizabeth I and charles and Mary Lamb presenting their stories to children.

The following tales are included in the collection.

See also

Tales from Shakespeare-1918-0014

Macbeth, illustration by Louis R Rheal from a 1918 edition of Tales from Shakespeare.

Tales from Shakespeare-1918-0311

Romeo and Juliet, illustration by Louis Rheal from a 1918 edition of tales from Shakespeare.

External links