Book of Fables Illustrated by Facts from Real Life
Bourne, William Oland
. T. Nelson and Sons . London/Edinburgh
Aesop and others
PZ8.2.B665 1853 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
Aesop and others
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Here is a curious book. It uses exactly the same texts for the same fables in another book by the same author, "Gems from Fable-Land: A Collection of Fables Illustrated by Facts," published in New York in the same year by Charles Scribner. This book is slightly smaller in format. Whereas that version contained occasional illustrations from standard nineteenth-century sources, this book offers some six pages of stiff construction illustrating three fables each, from common sources, but different sources from those in the New York edition. These illustrations face 34, 128, 152, 168, 200, and 256. At the back of the book there is an 1853 catalogue of new illustrated works from Nelson. Let me include some comments from the American version. The purpose of this singular book is "to present one or more anecdotes of a fitting character, as real-life witnesses to the truth of the moral contained in the text" (iv). To fulfill this purpose, seventy-five standard numbered Aesopic fables are gathered, and each is matched with several factual accounts. The fables are listed on v-xii. Fables are taken from Gay, Krasicki, Gellert, Herder, Croxall, Dodsley, Cowper, Lessing, La Fontaine, and others, but those sources are not listed here. Headers at the top of the page over the factual accounts state the virtue or attitude being praised. This endeavor seems to me so nineteenth-century! Those interested in nineteenth-century views of education and fable will find good material in the introductory pages.