Fables d'Ésope, Ornées de Cent Huit Figures d'apres Barlow, Tomes Premier et Second
. Chez Gueffier jeune , Chez Guefflier jeune . Paris (Bodemann identifier 187.2 )
Language note: French
PA3855.F5 1801 (Fable Collection, Reinert-Alumni Memorial Library)
Language note: French
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This is a landscape-formatted presentation of 107 fables, with two title-pages but just one frontispiece. The frontispiece makes a good comparison point with the frontispiece for Barlow's original 1666 version. The lion prominent there is less prominent here, and the face of Aesop has undergone some softening. This book makes for fascinating comparisons both with the original Barlow and with my later (1810?) French version, Bodemann #187.5. There are here, for example, no illustrations to scenes in the life of Aesop, as there are in the 1810? version. The pages here are very thin; frequently two pages are stuck together. This book follows a standard formula: full-page illustration on the left and the French prose fable with moral on the right, with a page number in the upper right. The second volume, here bound with the first, continues its pagination. Though I have to work somewhat from memory, these are clearly Barlow's designs, many of them with a great deal of Barlow's strength. There's a certain shading or softening added that loses Barlow's strength. Metzner notes that La Fontaine's fables are thoroughly excluded. Let me mention in particular the errors and curiosities of this volume and then the strongest of its illustrations. The book is dated in An IX -- 1801. There is significant writing on 41 of Volume I and on the page facing the title-page of Volume II. XIV on 47 should be XXIV. XXII on 51 should be XXVI. Fable XXXVI has in its title Renad for Renard. Page 89 in Volume I reads 99. Volume II is missing page 7 (Fable LIV). 57 is used twice for a page: Fable LXXIII is really on 55 in Volume II. The Roman Numerals here avoid the simple C for some reason. Thus 100 here is XCX. My prize among the illustrations goes to X: The Wolf in a Lamb's Skin. As in the later French version of 1810? it is easy to see and feel the imprint that the printing press made on each of the pages here.