Fables by the Late Mr Gay
. J. Buckland, J.F. and C. Rivington, et al , Printed for J. Buckland etc., . London
PR3473.F3 1788 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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Graham has no hesitation in claiming that this is a first edition of Bewick's fables for Gay. Bodemann #166.1 points out that these very publishers did produce the first edition of Thomas Bewick's illustrations for Gay's fables, but it occurred in 1779. Bodemann's earliest copy is in 1792, so this edition is earlier than her earliest. The cameo illustrations are strong and clear and, for the most part, true to nature. Among the most successful, I would include The Philosopher and the Pheasants (41); The Goat Without a Beard (58); The Court of Death (118); The Hare and Many Friends (126); and The Jackall, Leopard, and other Beasts (183). Do not be fooled by the frontispiece mask: it appears in the 1727 (original) and 1783 editions as well.