Aesop: The Complete Fables
Temple, Robert K. G
. Penguin Books Ltd. . London ,
PA3855.E5 T46 1998 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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It may be simplest to give my review here for the Classical Outlook: This book presents a good translation of the 358 prose fables in Chambry's 1927 edition of Aesop. That is its virtue, and it makes the book worth publishing and owning. That virtue is almost obscured by the book's misleading claim to be complete. The book fills a niche among other basic sources on fables, notably B.E. Perry's Aesopica, Lloyd Daly's translation of Perry in Aesop Without Morals, and Perry's Babrius and Phaedrus. Readers knowing recent fable scholarship will miss some reference to Perry's numbering system (totalling 725), which is now presumed generally to have superseded Chambry's. Penguin's format makes the fables readable; only rarely does a fable with its notes spill over onto a second page. Unfortunately, the lack of both a table of contents and an index makes it difficult to locate a particular fable. The translators are to be commended in particular for their effort to be accurate when naming specific animals and plants. The occasional notes are colorful but more controversial than the editors believe. A teacher wanting a reliable English-language edition of fables in one of their early forms cannot go wrong with this inexpensive edition. Others have been less kind to the edition.