Tales from Shakespeare, 1 by Charles Lamb
02 A Midsummer Night's Dream Tales from Shakespeare Charles and Mary Lamb
Tales from Shakespeare
Published: Genre: Children's Literature. Created by the brother and sister duo Charles and Mary Lamb though only Charles was credited when the book first appeared in , Tales has never been out of print in English, and has been translated into at least 40 languages worldwide — including Chinese, where it became sensationally popular in the early s. The story of the lives of Mary and Charles Lamb makes for sad reading. Born in and respectively into a working-class household in London, they spent their early years struggling to make ends meet. Mental illness dogged both siblings: having become a trainee clerk in the East India Company, Charles had some kind of breakdown in and spent six weeks in an asylum. But much worse was to follow in September , when Charles came home from work to find that his sister had stabbed their mother to death in a fit of mania and injured their father; only by promising the authorities that he would take her in did Charles manage to stop Mary being permanently incarcerated.
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I n the autumn of , at the age of 21, Charles Lamb, a city clerk with a lifelong stutter, came home from his desk at the East India Company to find that his sister, Mary, had stabbed their mother to death in a mad seizure. He described the events of 22 September in a letter to a friend:. My poor dear dearest sister in a fit of insanity has been the death of her own mother. I was at hand with only time enough to snatch the knife out of her grasp. She is at present in a madhouse, from whence I fear she must be moved to a hospital.
Tales from Shakespeare is an English children's book written by brother and sister Charles and Mary Lamb in The book is designed to make the stories of Shakespeare's plays familiar to the young. Marina Warner , in her introduction to the Penguin edition, says that Mary did not get her name on the title page till the seventh edition in Tales from Shakespeare has been republished many times. It was first published by the Juvenile Library of William Godwin under the alias Thomas Hodgkins and his second wife, Mary Jane Clairmont, who chose the illustrations, probably by William Mulready   . Eyles in In , the book was supplemented with some additional tales by Harrison S.