The Fables of Aesop With a Life of the Author and Embellished with one Hundred Twelve Plates, Vol. I
. John Stockdale . London
PA3855.E5 1810b (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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This is the best of three two-volume Stockdales and one of two of them acquired within a month of each other. All three pairs differ in several ways from what I believe to be a true first, listed under 1793. Though these editions kept the title page of the 1793 first printing (right down to the date of 4th June), the text was reset using the modern s rather than the elongated letter similar to our f but without the crossbar. All three copies misprint page 237 in Volume II as 273. I investigated the watermarking of the paper of the first two pairs. Their paper is clearly watermarked, including the paper used for text, which is marked with something like J Wheatman 1809. Some text pages show half of WB over 1809 (e.g. lv in O'Neal and 35 in the First Folio copy). All three acknowledge T. Bensley as printer on 189 of Volume I and 248 of Volume II; my 1793 printing had not done that. None of these has an advertisement for Gay after the last page of Volume II, as my 1793 had. All three copies show a fair amount of foxing. Of the three, the First Folio copy is particularly beautifully bound. By contrast with this O'Neal pair, the First Folio and Hoffman copies are cropped so closely that The disappears from the top of the title, and much of the date disappears at the bottom. See the 1793 printing for comments on the illustrations. The illustration of Fox and Cat that should appear facing 81 has, in this copy, been used instead as a frontispiece. Because all three copies are precious, I am including all three in the collection and giving them independent ID numbers.