Fables by John Gay
. Printed by Darton & Harvey for F. & C. Rivington et al , Printed by Darton & Harvey for F. & C. Rivington, B & B. White, T. Longman, B. Law & Son ... [and 14 others], . London
PR3473.F3 1793b (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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I have hoped for this book since I saw it described in Hobbs. Actually this edition (the one described in Hobbs on 80-81) seems to be derivative from an edition done for Stockdale in the same year. Perhaps the page numbers I find on 117 in Bentley and Nurmi's A Blake Bibliography (1964) correspond to the Stockdale edition rather than to this one. The comment there also says that Blake signed each of his engravings, and I can find no signatures here. I have just checked Blake's work with the illustrations found in my editions of 1727/38, 1757, 1783, and 1801. Blake certainly was in the tradition, as Hobbs says! He is closest to the 1783 edition. I think Blake's best works here are I 1 The Shepherd and the Philosopher, I 22 The Goat Without a Beard, and II 16 The Ravens, the Sexton, and the Earth-Worm. The illustrations here are landscape ovals two to a page before a pair of fables. Sometimes he reminds me of Gorey. This is a treasure of a book, well bound and well preserved!