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Tales From Shakespeare
1922 frontispiece illustration for Tales from Shakespeare
The book is designed to make the stories of Shakespeare's plays familiar to the young. Mary Lamb was responsible for the comedies, while Charles wrote the tragedies; they wrote the preface between them. Marina Warner, in her introduction to the Penguin 2007 edition, says that Mary did not get her name on the title page till the seventh edition in 1838.
In 1893-4, the book was supplemented with some additional tales by Harrison S. Morris, and was re-published in the USA as a multi-volume set with colour plate illustrations.
As noted in the authors' preface, "[Shakespeare's] words are used whenever it seemed possible to bring them in; and in whatever has been added to give them the regular form of a connected story, diligent care has been taken to select such words as might least interrupt the effect of the beautiful English tongue in which he wrote: therefore, words introduced into our language since his time have been as far as possible avoided."