The aim of this blog is to serve as a meeting point to those who study or have studied English philology and, more broadly, to all those who love literature and language.

15 Oct 2008


Today I received a copy of Tales from Shakspeare by Charles and Mary Lamb, a present from friends. It is a beautiful hardback copy published by Frederick Warne & Co. somewhen before 1938, the date that appears in a handwritten note indicating the names of the person who received the book and its giver in that year.

I did not know the work and have browsed the Internet for some information. I see that it is a classic as a book for children or anyone who might like to read Shakespeare's stories told as fairy tales. I'm sure I will read them.

I have also looked for the unusual spelling of the playwright's name. It is amazing the number of different spellings that have been used since the Renaissance. An article on this issue can be found in this site, The Spelling and Pronunciation of Shakespeare's Name by David Kathman-

Thank you very much


  1. I think that adaptations of classic literary works to make the reading easier are very useful in approaching such works to the younger readers. Or even to not so young readers. I just have finished the Iliad, by Homer, and the attempt of the translator to reproduce the ancient talk forces the reader to make an additional effort to complete a drama already hard enough.
    Juan F.

  2. Yes, I also think that abridged books and retellings of stories can be really useful and entertaining as long as they keep a standard of quality, as this is the case.
    It has been curious to read 'The Tempest' as a tale after having read the original version and studied about its features, historical background and even about works based on it such as Marina Warner's novel Indigo. Consequently, the characters and situations are familiar and full of echoes from that study. Thus, this shortened version tells me the story again but tells me also about what can be hidden or silenced. The fact that these tales were written in the Victorian period adds its touch to the choice of language, selection of events and portraying of characters.
    After that, I read ‘A Winter’s Tale’, a story I completely ignored. The plot was new to me and the reading was therefore different, a fairy tale with a dramatic unfolding from disaster caused by jealousy, mental blindness and irrationality to the restoration of harmony caused by destiny and luck.

  3. Funny I bought a cheap copy of the same book a couple of weeks ago at a book fair.

    I bought it thinking of my 13-year-old boy in case one day he may enjoy reading it.

    The new course has started and I´ve got plenty of compulsory reading to do but I suppose I will have a go at it. Some of the stories are completely new for me, "Timon of Athens" , "Pericles, Prince of Tyre"...