SHAKESPEARE FOR CHILDREN
Charles [and Mary] Lamb. Tales from Shakespeare. 1807.
First edition. [First
issue with paper watermarked 1806].
Given the frequent allusions to madness in the works
of Shakespeare, it is perhaps rather apt that the most famous miniature
versions of the bardís stories should have been put together by a
brother and sister whose lives were dominated by acts of insanity. Mary Lamb in such a lapse of reason killed their mother and
Charles was mentally deranged for some time 1795-96, leaving him in fear
for his mind until his death in 1834.
Their adaptations do not include all the plays (the Henrys
are omitted) and crucial elements of plots are expurgated to make the
stories more palatable for children.