The Animals of Aesop: Aesop's Fables Adapted and Pictured
. Dana Estes and Co. . Boston
PZ8.2.A254 Mora 1900 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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I have been looking hard for this book since Ash and Higton featured it in their 1990 Aesop's Fables: A Classic Illustrated Edition. It now proves to be worth the hunting! Mora writes a moving introduction on his loss of the dream-like contact with Animaldom that he cherished in his youth. There follow one hundred fables in a very regular pattern of a prose text embellished with figures on the left page and a full-page black-and-white (and sometimes colored) illustration on the right. The very first illustration is typical: a lamb dressed as a maiden sees through and rejects the pleading for a drink by a trouser-and-shoe-wearing wolf lying exhausted on the ground. The ass and the lapdog are owned by a hippo, who experiences the former's unwelcome attentions in a hammock! In fact, Mora always substitutes animals for humans. He enjoys spicing up a tale. Thus it is a puma who receives a horse's kick (18); his jaw swells up so greatly that it is mistaken for mumps, and he has to miss a lawn party for which he has had a date with Miss Reynard! For the first time, I see made into a fable the episode from the life of Aesop on drinking up the ocean (34). CP has a good moral that is new to me: Little and often does the trick (46). Instead of a MM, we have a squirrel upsetting her basket of nuts from a log when she kicks up her heels (48). The dissatisfied buck is polishing his antlers in a hedge when they get caught (50). The story about a mule reflecting on its parentage changes when it is a woman working at a swell job and standing before her mirror (76)! The satyr and traveller become, respectively, a bear and a jackal (88). The Differing Humours (96) is new to me. This DLS illustration (104) is excellent! This stork serves up his meal in long-necked jars that were fastened to the floor (124). The dancing fish actually answer the piper's question about their dancing now but not earlier (128). The owl offers the loud grasshopper an invitation not to drink something, but rather to hear the Nightingale's compliment about the grasshopper's singing (144). I am happy to see an old friend of a story that does not get told as much as it deserves: The Mastiff and the Curs (208) with its great punch line: If there were no Curs in this world, you would not be an Aristocrat. For great sets of illustrations, try The Unwelcome Lodger (126), The Fatal Courtship (132), and The Lovesick Lion (196). Colored illustrations are on 25, 33, 55, 69, 83, 96, 111, 125, 139, 153, 167, 181, 193, and 207. Mora likes to depict animals winking. 39-40 is mis-inserted between 32 and 33. There is a T of C at the front. Good condition. A great find!