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on 23 March 2016
The content is still the great Charles and Mary Lamb's interpretation of Shakespeare for those, like me, who haven't got round to reading the more obscure plays and are still curious about them.
My quibble is with the actual presentation of the "book". It is an Amazon package which replicates a bound college essay; typing style is very basic; Arthur Rackham pictures poorly and cheaply displayed in grey. I was drawn to purchasing the book by the Rackham illustrations but was seriously disappointed. Flimsy cover and generally amateurish feel.
However, if you want simply to read the stories, they are all there for you. Would be an inexpensive reference copy for students or sixth formers.
I have had other books from Amazon that are similar to this. I think we should be warned beforehand that this is in house printing with no frills, please.
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on 11 September 2017
This is a centuries old publication I read as a child. I thought I'd revisit it for a touch of nostalgia. It's very readable and a great way to introduce children to Shakespeare.
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on 17 April 2013
This is a great way for a child/young teenager to learn the plot of the Shakespeare plays.

It is written in a readable, enjoyable way, making it easy to learn the story and what is actually going on. That makes it easier for the pupil to understand the language that the Bard is using.

It was aimed at children when it was written, however, I can see it being helpful even for the GCSE student, to give the overview when starting with a new play - or even the A level student who wants to compare different plays.
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on 1 September 2010
As an A level English student soon to begin studying Othello in depth, I decided to buy this book as a way of introducing myself to the plot of the play and the characters. Although I have not read any of the other stories yet, if the Lambs' retelling of The Moor of Venice is anything to go by it was worth spending 85p on a used copy!

Yes, the book might have been originally aimed at children who lived in 1807, but it still can be used today by all ages as a useful overview of 20 of the Bard's plays. As you might expect, the language is a little archaic but it does a good job of giving background on the major characters and their role in the play, whilst more or less keeping the prose as simplistic enough as a fairy tale. It even includes some of the original speech which, when placed in prose context, seems much less cryptic than when first read in play form. If only I'd bought this book when I studied A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest and Hamlet! I will definitely, if I get the chance, recommend it to my classmates.

What else can I say? I good, useful book that should well belong on everyone's bookcases as a point of reference. Well done Mr and Mrs Lamb!
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on 12 February 2013
As an anthology of twenty of Shakespeare's greatest plays, this serves well enough. My concern is that it claims to be the perfect introduction to Shakespeare for the younger reader, and yet the sentence construction is rather too unweildy today. I could open any page and quote an example. Even the first sentence in the preface begins with a 97 word sentence containing one semi-colon and one colon.

I've opened the book randomly to further explain. From, 'As You Like It' on p83 - 'In this manner many days passed pleasantly on with these young people; and the good-natured Aliena, seeing it made Ganymede happy, let him have his own way, and was diverted at the mock-courtship, and did not care to remind Ganymede that the Lady Rosalind had not yet made herself known to the duke her father, whose place of resort in the forest they had learnt from Orlando.' Does this style of writing (first published 1807) really best introduce today's young reader to Shakespeare? I doubt it. Still, as an adult reader only vaguely familiar with many of Shakespeare's plays, I rather like it's older style of writing.

In Dame Judi Dench's sweeping three-page Introuduction, she brushes past her own early introduction to Shakespeare, the anthology itself, and Shakespeare in performance today.
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on 4 June 2017
Who could ever be without Mary Lamb. OK, so her brother went a little 'over-the-hill'; she, however, continues to amaze us with this remarkable assessment of the beloved Bard.
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on 19 August 2016
Great and easy way to learn Shakespeare. Unfortunately with Kindle there are a few typos. 'I'll met by moonlight' instead of ILL MET in Midsummer's ND to name one. Hope the producers correct errors.
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on 12 February 2013
I bought this as a present for a 12 year old who was beginning to show an interest in Shakespeare. This book tells the stories of the chosen plays in good, clear English and is a real help in understanding the story as an introduction to the plays themselves. Very nicely produced book.
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on 16 December 2016
Language not suitable for children, I had hoped it would be more adapted so I could encourage enjoyment of Shakespeare, but not accessible for most children
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on 6 August 2017
A must for all those who stuggle with understanding Shakespeare. All the plays written in standard English story format.
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