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THE STORY OF HEREWARD

Retold by DOUGLAS C. STEDMAN, B.A., with
16 Plates in Collotype by G. D. HAMMOND,

R.I.
STORIES FROM THE FAERIE QUEENE

Retold by LAWRENCE H. DAWSON. With 16

Coloured Plates by G. D. HAMMOND, R.I.
CUCHULAIN

The Hound of Ulster. Retold from Celtic
MSS. by ELEANOR HULL. With 16 Coloured

Plates by STEPHEN Reid
THE HIGH DEEDS OF FINN

Retold from Celtic MSS. by T. W. ROLLESTON.
With an Introduction by the Rev. STOPFORD
A. BROOKE, M.A., and 16 Plates in Colour by

STEPHEN REID
STORIES FROM DANTE

By Susan CUNNINGTON. With 16 Plates in

Colour by Evelyn Paul
STORIES FROM SHAKESPEARE

Retold by Dr. THOMAS CARTER. With 16
Plates in Colour by G. D. HAMMOND, R.I.

288 pages
FOLK TALES FROM MANY LANDS

Retold by LILIAN Gask. With 150 Illustrations
in Colour and Black-and-White by WILLY

POGÁNY
HARALD, LAST OF THE VIKINGS

By Captain CHARLES YOUNG. With 16 Plates

in Collotype by G. D. HAMMOND, R.I. STORIES OF INDIAN GODS & HEROES

Retold by W. D. MONRO, M.A. With 16

Plates in Colour by Evelyn Paul
THE BOYS' FROISSART

Selected from Lord Berner's Translation of
the “Chronicles," by MadalEN EDGAR,
M.A. With 16 Illustrations by M. MERE-
DITH WILLIAMS.

I

STORIES OF THE
ENGLISH KINGS

RETOLD BY THOMAS CARTER
DOCTOR OF THEOLOGY AUTHOR OF “STORIES

«
FROM SHAKESPEARE” “SHAKESPEARE PURITAN
& RECUSANT” “SHAKESPEARE & HOLY SCRIPTURE”

WITH SIXTEEN FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS BY

GERTRUDE DEMAIN HAMMOND R.I.

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GEORGE G. HARRAP & COMPANY
9 PORTSMOUTH STREET KINGSWAY W.C.

MCMXII

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с 3 1912 b MAIN

Preface

I

T is inevitable, in retelling the stories of Shake

speare's English Kings, that we should recall the names of Charles and Mary Lamb. These

gifted authors are associated immortally with Shakespeare, and their Tales must remain a classic for youthful readers, to whom a simple prose rendering is of great value as an introduction to the genius of our greatest poet.

The Histories, however, were not included in the Tales, hence there is opportunity for an endeavour to provide a prose version of this attractive section of the great plays. Beginning with the period before the Roman invader came to our shores, and passing through the times of Plantagenet and Tudor to the opening days of Elizabeth, Shakespeare has presented in his wonderful series an almost complete view of the great figures of English history, indicating with a sure touch the movements, crises, and turning-points of our national development. The canvas is a crowded one, but there is no superfluous figure, and from the king to the peasant he holds the mirror of genius up to Nature and reflects life. The inner significance has been well indicated by Walter Pater. “True, on the whole, to fact, it is another side of kingship which he has made

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prominent in his English histories. The irony of kingship-average human nature, flung with a wonderfully pathetic effect into the vortex of great events ; tragedy of everyday quality heightened in degree only by the conspicuous scene which does but make those who play their part there conspicuously unfortunate ; the utterance of common humanity straight from the heart, but refined like other common things for kingly uses by Shakespeare's unfailing eloquence : such, unconsciously for the most part, though palpably enough to the careful reader, is the conception under which Shakespeare has arranged the lights and shadows of the story of the English Kings, emphasising merely the light and shadow inherent in it, and keeping very close to the original authorities, not simply in the general outline of these dramatic histories, but sometimes in their very expression.”

The story of King Lear properly belongs to this group, but it has already appeared in the author's companion volume, Stories from Shakespeare. In both books the poet's verse has frequently been printed where the lines are so simple that it is unnecessary to paraphrase them. From these quotations the youthful reader will learn something of the glamour of the wonderful originals, and the author trusts that the examples given will make boys and girls eager to read more of the poet's own work in due season-in other words, that the books will prove to be for many a veritable Gateway to Shakespeare.

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