Shakespeare Stories

Shakespeare Stories (Adaptation)

Adapted by: Leon Garfield
Published by: Houghton Mifflin Company
Publication Date: 1985

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Here, in a breathtaking display of virtuoso storytelling, splendidly illustrated by Michael Foreman, Leon Garfield gives us twelve of Shakespeare's most memorable plays, presented afresh in narrative form to delight both those who know our greatest dramatist's works, and those (especially young people) who are new to them.

Shakespeare Stories is not a series of retellings, but rather a refashioning of the dramas as stories that remain true to the essential spirit of the original versions. The author has captured all the richness of character, plot, mood, and setting in Shakespeare's works, without resorting to simplification. Indeed, Leon Garfield deliberately retains much of the original language, skillfully weaving it into his own prose, so that the reader is introduced to the flavor of the verse, as well as the incidents of plot and the spectacle of drama. Shakespeare Stories is a wonderful distillation—a celebration and a reminder of Shakespeare's genius as poet and dramatist.

Michael Foreman's dramatic color illustrations and dazzlingly varied black-and-white drawings—from loose, free studies in line and wash to detailed miniatures executed with the precision of etchings—are an artistic tour de force. Foreman shows himself to be brilliantly sympathetic interpreter of the text, with illustrations that both reflect and amplify the broad range of mood and atmosphere that the stories encompass, from the ghostly shades of Hamlet's Elsinore to the moonlit mischief of Oberon's woods; from the battlefields to a magic isle; from darkness to light. These are a perfect complement to Leon Garfield's stories.

From the dust jacket

Shakespeare Stories Reprint

Shakespeare Stories
Reprinted in 2015 by The New York Review Children’s Collection
Available formats: Hardcover
List: New York Review Children's Collection
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"How to introduce children to Shakespeare, not just to the stories behind the plays but to the richness of Shakespeare’s language and the depth of his characters: That’s the challenge that Leon Garfield, no slouch as a wordsmith himself, sets out to meet in his monumental and utterly absorbing Shakespeare Stories. Here twenty-one of the Bard’s plays are refashioned into stories that are true to the wit, the humor, the wisdom, the sublime heights, the terrifying depths, and above all the poetry of their great originals. Throughout, Garfield skillfully weaves in Shakespeare’s own words, accustoming young readers to language and lines that might at first seem forbiddingly unfamiliar. Leon Garfield’s Shakespeare Stories is an essential distillation—a truly Shakespearean tribute to Shakespeare’s genius and a delight for children and parents alike."

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