Charles and Mary Lamb

Charles Lamb (1775–1834) and his sister Mary (1764–1847) are famous for their Tales from Shakespeare, prose retellings of twenty of Shakespeare's plays. They wrote other books for children and adults but are best remembered for this work, which was published in 1807. Tales from Shakespeare is said to be one of only two books for children that have remained continuously in print since the 1800s—the other being The Swiss Family Robinson, by J.D. Wyss.

Charles and Mary were born in England. Neither of them ever married, and the two lived together for most of their lives. They had several notable friends, including the great poets Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth and Percy Bysshe Shelley.

The Lambs and their work

Currently available from Books for Learning is Charles and Mary Lamb's retelling of The Tempest, edited for children aged twelve and above.

You may also like to read the Lambs' Preface to Tales from Shakespeare, as well as an Introduction to the Tales by Rev. Alfred Ainger.

The following stories are included in Tales from Shakespeare:

  • The Tempest
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • The Winter's Tale
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • As You Like It
  • The Two Gentlemen of Verona
  • The Merchant of Venice
  • Cymbeline
  • King Lear
  • Macbeth
  • All's Well that Ends Well
  • The Taming of the Shrew
  • The Comedy of Errors
  • Measure for Measure
  • Twelfth Night; or, What You Will
  • Timon of Athens
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
  • Othello
  • Pericles, Prince of Tyre