Select Fables of Esop and Other Fabulists. A New Edition
. Printed for and sold by, Joseph and James Crukshank, . Philadelphia
Aesop and others
PN982.D6 1798 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
Aesop and others
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Sold at Hamell's in Philadelphia. Three books: Ancient, Modern, and Original. As in my other editions of Dodsley, the index at the back is really a listing of morals; they sometimes repeat promythia or epimythia. Preface, Life, and Essay are at the front of the book. This copy is the victim of significant wear. Inscribed in 1883. Now in 1997, I have had opportunity to study Dodsley's texts. His fables are frequently well told. He rarely departs by much from traditional versions of the stories. He apologizes over changes he makes in traditional material, replacing the hedgehog with the swallow as a conversation-partner with the leech-infested fox (I 5) and replacing with fish the seeds the stork was eating when the farmer catches him (I 32). Like Croxall, Dodsley loves the phrase could not forbear. The Miser (I 39) is one of his best stories. Some things that occur frequently in his collection include the use of the historical present, promythia, characters being convinced of something within the narrative, and gnomic endings in which a character articulates the lesson. It is surprising to us what goes into the second, Modern, section of fables. Among other things, there are fables from La Fontaine, from Aesop, and from unknown sources. Dodsley's two biggest themes are that use confers value and that small minds cannot judge their greaters; they see them according to their own limitations. I enjoyed this collection far more than I thought I would.