Tales from Shakespeare: Famous Stories from the Great Comedies and Tragedies

Tales from Shakespeare: Famous Stories from the Great Comedies and Tragedies

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Tales from Shakespeare: Famous Stories from the Great Comedies and Tragedies

Tales from Shakespeare: Famous Stories from the Great Comedies and Tragedies

Read FREE!

Excerpt

In the year 1806 Charles and Mary Lamb were residing in Mitre Court Buildings in the Temple. For more than ten years Charles had devoted himself to the care of this sister, content to forego for her sake all thoughts of other ties, and living beneath the shadow, which never lifted, of a great family sorrow. Happily for both, they were united by strong common tastes and sympathies as well as by the tenderest affection, and prominent among such tastes, as all readers of the Essays of Elia well know, was the love of Shakspeare and the other great Elizabethans. In a letter of May 10 in this year to his friend Manning, who had shortly before sailed for China, Charles Lamb writes of the sister who was never far from his thoughts,—"Mary, whom you seem to remember yet, is not quite easy that she had not a formal parting from you. I wish it had so happened. But you must bring her a token, a shawl or something, and remember a sprightly little mandarin for our mantel-piece, as a companion to the child I am going to purchase at the museum. She says you saw her writings about, the other day, and she wishes you should know what they are. She is doing for Godwin's bookseller twenty of Shakspeare's plays, to be made into children's tales. Six are already done by her—to wit, The Tempest, Winter's Tale, Midsummer Night, Much Ado, Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Cymbeline; and the Merchant of Venice is in forwardness. I have done Othello and Macbeth, and mean to do all the Tragedies. I think it will be popular among the little people, besides money. It's to bring in sixty guineas. Mary has done them capitally, I think you'd think. . . ."

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