Promenade au Jardin des Fables
La Fontaine, Jean de
. Braun & Cie/Berger-Levrault , Braun Berger-Levrault, . Dornach/Paris ,
Language note: French
NC247.S37 P76 1923 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
Language note: French
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One of the heavier and more pretentious books in the collection. The book seems to me to represent a kind of printer's dream, drawing in all sorts of illustrations. I have listed Berger-Levrault as a publisher, but they may be only the exclusive seller of the book. Ribeauvillé appears next to the date on the title-page, but I hesitate to put that down as the place of publication when the publisher has already assigned himself two other places! Schlumberger herself does an intricate silhouette surround the text material of the title-page. Overall the book has two parts, including 370 reproductions in the text and 15 plates outside. The first part presents forty-three fables (listed at the part's beginning as a T of C for it) with illustrations from the fourteenth century until today. This is arguably a list of the most popular La Fontaine fables. Illustrations used in the first part do not follow the dimensions or context of the original. Reading through a fable in the first part sometimes gives a good sense of the visual motif; for GA, there are five illustrations from 1566 and before on two facing pages (2-3). Pages 3-6 are loose. Schlumberger's favorites seem to include Lyon 1556, Solis, Gheeraerts, Barlow, Chauveau, Oudry, Grandville, Barboutau, and Rackham. My only complaint about the first part is that some chapterlets are too brief. AD (65) manages only five illustrations, and The Peacock Complaining to Juno (76) only four. The second part lists seventy-three principal illustrated editions of fables of Aesop and La Fontaine, starting with Ysopets and Robert's Fables inédites and ending at the time of Félix Lorioux. New to me and interesting from the second part: Verdizotti 1577 (catalogue XVI), Monnier 1828 (XLII), and Gouget 1834 (XLVII). This part may help on some thorny bibliography problems of mine, e.g., concerning Jaoust editions. There are three alphabetical indices at the back: authors, artists, and fables. Do not miss the pretty paper inside-cover with its golden rendition of Barlow's frontispiece.