Although William Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language, he traditionally receives little notice in studies of children's literature. However, there is a fascinating relationship between Shakespeare and children's interests, and the Bard's works have been successfully adapted for children's use over several centuries.
This book continues and parallels the author's previous study, Chaucer as Children's Literature, as part of a greater endeavor to evaluate the significance of traditional literature retold as children's literature in modern English studies. It examines the ways in which William Shakespeare's stories have been adapted for children, particularly in Mary and Charles Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare, which was almost immediately recognized as a classic of children's literature when it was first published in 1807. The author describes the significance of the Lamb's Tales as the pre-eminent children's adaptation of Shakespeare's literature, focusing particularly on the lavishly illustrated Edwardian editions which used pictures to convey Shakespeare's stories for children.
Other topics include Victorian alternatives to the Lambs' stories, including anthologies from David Murray Smith, Abby Sage Richardson, and Mary Seymour; the lavish illustrations of Shakespeare's stories found in antique English textbooks; Shakespeare in nursery books, including sophisticated collections from Mary Macleod, Thomas Carter, Alice S. Hoffman, and other noted authors; and Shakespeare in multi-volume American collections, including The Children's Hour, Journeys through Bookland, and The Junior Classics.
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Velma Bourgeois Richmond is professor of English Emerita at Holy Names College, Oakland, California. She is also the author of Chaucer as Children's Litearature (2004). She lives in Berkeley, California.Review:
"comprehensive...a pleasure to read. Highly recommended"--Choice;"Richmond has excavated a rich treasure trove...will find much to tantalize"--Shakespeare Quarterly; "a virtually encyclopedic catalog...a compelling compendium of texts, illustrations and insights related to the art of Shakespeare adaptations for children"--irscl.com; "a clearly written, carefully researched, entertaining study...makes the importance of Shakespeare to children's literature delightfully apparent"--Children's Literature Association Quarterly.
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