The Fables of Aesop Paraphras'd in Verse, and adorned with Sculpture
Ogilby, John (translator)
. Printed by Thomas Warren for Andrew Crook . London
PA3855.E5 O55 1651 (Fable Collection, Reinert-Alumni Memorial Library)
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Bodemann #70.1. Here is the costliest book in my collection. I never thought I would have a chance at it! This book has lost its binding, though its boards are still present. After an epistle dedicatory, a tribute by W. D'Avenant, another tribute by James Shirley, and an imprimatur, we find the eighty-one verse fables in four books (including 22, 20, 18, and 21 fables, respectively). Bodemann rightly calls these Fabelnachdichtungen. As she says, Aesopic material is broadened by additions, examples, dialogues, citations from ancient history and mythology, and royalistic allusions to contemporary events. Cleyn's frontispiece of Ogilby seems to be lacking, but the second frontispiece is here: Aesop talks to the people in the midst of the animals. There is one plate for Fables 14 and 15. Plate 58 is lacking here. Bodemann says that the image motifs are oriented to Gheeraerts but include many new creations. To my surprise, neither the text nor the illustrations are a clean match for the 1668 reprint from the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library. That reprint was done from the second edition, which seems to have had not only new art but changes in the text and a considerable addition of footnotes and notations. Some images here have been colored. Among the images I find best are The Mountain in labour (#8), Of the Boare and the Asse (#11), Of the Husband-man and the Serpent (#16), Of the Old Hownd and his Master (#18), Of the Dog and the Thief (#21), Of the Lyon grown old (#23), FS (#26), Of the Horse and laden Asse (#48), SW (#65), OR (#67), and Of the Youngman and the Cat (#73). My favorite remains Of the Rebellion of the Hands and Feet (#47). In general, these illustrations seem sketchier than those of the 1668 second edition. Note that Ogilby follows the tradition of having a wolf rather than a fox come upon the carved head (#22). This book is crumbling in my hands, but it is a treasure!