Fables By Mr. Gay
. Printed for J. Tonson and J. Watts . (London)
PR3473.F3 1733b (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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This book is a lovely little anomaly. It seems another copy of the fourth edition of Fables by Mr. Gay, published by J. and R. Tonson and J. Watts in 1733. It matches up very well with a copy I have of that book. It thus has several tell-tale signs. Its illustrations are reversed from those of the second edition (1728) but are the same in orientation as those of the seventh (1753). Like the fourth edition, it has the misprint of Fable XIX for what should be Fable XXI. This mistake is in neither the second nor the seventh edition. This copy is singular for a deficiency and an addition. The deficiency is in all pages up to the Introduction to the Fables on a page that is marked B. The addition is a page inserted after the introduction and before the first regular fable. This page is a handwritten T of C with page numbers. This copy has the pages lacking in my other copy, namely 189-92. The front cover is literally hanging on by a thread. The engravings show the same deep indentation in the paper. Let me repeat some of my comments made on the other copy. Here is a wonderful little treasure! It falls between Bodemann 110.1 (the first edition) and 110.2 (the fifth edition). It includes only the first 50 fables because the additional seventeen were first published in only 1738. I am particularly taken on this trip through with the dynamism of The Lady and the Wasp (VIII), the foppishness of The Monkey Who Had Seen the World (XIV), the exactitude of The Pin and the Needle (XVI), and the turbulence of The Farmer's Wife and the Raven (XXXVII) complete with broken eggs. The monkeys of XXII (The Goat without a Beard) are curiously human. I wondered ten years ago and wonder still how many copies of this book in this edition still exist around the world.