Fables for Children, Young and Old, in Humorous Verse
Staite, W. Edwards
. E. Churton . London
PZ8.2.S78 Fab 1847 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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See the 1848 second edition of this lovely little book. The differences here include a pictorial onlay on the front cover, now very worn and only half present. There are only six hand-colored plates here, as opposed to eight there. Images not included here but in the second edition are The Barber and His Customer and How Sir Roger Spent Christmas. And this book extends not to 126 but only to 64, where there is the clear marker The End. The colored plate of Bears and Buffaloes now faces not the hand-colored title-page but its fable on 11. The cover is here green cloth. The six colored plates in common offer a fine occasion for comparing the differences in hand-coloring the same image. I will include here some of the comments I made on the second edition. About 5 x 6½. The signature of T.H. Jones is clear on each of the illustrations. The title-page illustration is strong: an adult with distinctive round glasses reads from a fable-book to an eager group of children. Another attractive illustration is that of Tom and Harry and the Donkey (28). The fables here seem new to the Aesopic tradition. While they are humorous, they are also pointedly didactic. For example, the sparrow that envies ducks sees two of them decapitated (32)! For me the morally focussed character of the fables can make them tiresome. There is a presentation inscription from the author on the half-title-page and, from thirty-four years later, an owner's inscription on the inside front endpaper. Not in Bodemann.