Aesop's Fables: A New Edition with Proverbs and Applications
. Bliss, Sands & Co . London
PA3855.E5 C7 1897 (Fable Collection, Reinert-Alumni Memorial Library)
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It is strange that I had not found this book until 1996 and within a few years have found it two more times in slightly different versions--one the extra here and one a copy by Stokes in NY, listed under 1910? This is a curious and engaging book. It uses Croxall's narratives for its one hundred and ten fables. In the words of the unsigned introduction, in place of some of the long, dull, and far-fetched applications, it has been thought well to append short passages from good writers, bearing some affinity to the moral of the fable (xx). These related literary passages make for fascinating reflection and would merit closer study. They are certainly an improvement on Croxall's applications! The illustrations, uniform rectangles about 3½ x 4¼, follow Barlow and sometimes retain his vigor and his detail. More frequently, they appear a mannered version of Barlow, heavy on rippling lines and distorted animal faces. Among the best illustrations are those for The Old Woman and her Maids (84) and The Sick Kite (164). The praying carter (117) is on his back! The beaver, with the dogs in hot pursuit, is presented graphically (43). Lions' faces are particularly awkward. The heavy stock used for all the pages helps give the illustrations a very good presentation here. Contrast these with those done on poorer paper in the Stokes edition of the same book. Only The Forester and the Lion (225) lacks an image. This book is inscribed in 1898. The extra copy is distinctive only in that it has not Bliss, Sands & Co. at the base of its spine but rather Sands & Co. even though it has the fuller name inside the book.