Aesop's Fables Told to the Children
. London: T.C. and E.C. Jack/NY: E.P. Dutton and Co. . London/NY ,
PZ8.2.A254 Da 1906 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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A small format book only forty-seven pages long (one fable to a page, with no external morals), but the art is fine: sixteen pages of colored illustrations, all (except the frontispiece) containing two illustrations; the advertisement at the back promises only eight colored pages in the books of the series! Is this Praeger's original 1906 publication, referred to in Ash/Higton? The illustrations might be called primitive. They are strong and simple, and I like them. The best illustrations include a great frontispiece (and cover) of an old man reading a paper attacked by the friendly ass; the wolf hanged in a sheepskin (facing 16); sleeping girls à la Wilhelm Busch (facing 20); FS (26); MSA (facing 44); and the fat hen with a surprised old woman (facing 44). A wonderful little find! Now in '97 I have had a chance to analyze its texts. They seem to depend heavily on Croxall and less on James. There is less directly quoted speech than is usual in the fables. One of the best texts is The Wolf as Piper. In TH, the tortoise seems to undergo a sex change during the race! The Fox and the Eagle may be the poorest text, not thought through very well.