A New Work of Animals Principally Designed from the Fables of Aesop, Gay, and Phaedrus
. Edward Orme . London
N7660.H8 1811 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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One of the finer books that I have found. There is a curious ambivalence in the titling of this book. It is really a book of fifty-six fables with forty-four supplementary full-page illustrations of animals not engaged in the specific scenes of fables, especially of individual animal heads. There seem to be ninety-nine plates here, even though the title-page claims one hundred. Sorry, but I cannot locate which is the lost sheep in this pictorial flock! Tamerlane's note mentions that this edition often has only ninety-seven illustrations. (My favorite private collector owns a version with fifty-six plates; my presumption is that his lacks the supplementary plates.) The text of the first forty-one fables is very heavily, but apparently not exclusively, from Croxall's 1722 version, though it includes typically only the first paragraph or two of his longer applications. The last fifteen fables are in verse and come, at least some of them, from Gay. The list of plates at the end can be used as a T of C; it indicates first the plates of fables and then the supplementary illustrations. The fable illustrations are good. I have seldom seen an illustration so explicitly showing the beaver ready to bite off his testes--though of course Croxall's text will refer only to a certain part about him which is good in physic (59). Other good illustrations include The Sow and the Wolf (14) and TB (76). It is a pleasure to see an artist who knows how to picture lions! This book is beautifully bound in half blue morocco with marbled boards.