I. Krylov: Fables
Krylov, Ivan Andreevich
Here is a good contemporary collection of 203 of Krylov's verse fables, listed in a long T of C at the back. This is preceded by three pages of short notes. Perhaps surprisingly, there is no introduction of any sort before or after the fables. After the blank front endpaper, we face these elements: a title-page, the usual colophonic material on the reverse of the title, page, and an oval portrait of a cheese-eating fox in the foreground with a crow in the background. What follows next is the two-page spread of a FC image on the left and the FC text on the right. The fables are in Krylov's order, but books and individual numbrs are not marked. There is a nice scattering of simple colored art throughout, varying from full-page illustrations to two-inch headpieces to simple designs, especially as tailpieces. There are several repeat illustrations among the smaller ones, especially weeping pikes and weeping birds. It is worth searching for the full-page illustrations, since there is so much going on in them. For a starter, enjoy the full-page Cat and Cook illustration on 69. Other good full-page illustrations include Lion and Leopard (35), Gadfly and Ant (49), Sammy's Coat (93), Fox as Architect (132), Mice in Council (163), BF (189), Wild Goats (213), and A Great Lord (223). It is not easy to find the full-page illustrations here, because they are done on the same cheap paper that is used for the texts. Among the better headpieces are The Village Band (7), The Flowers (98), The Elephant in Favor (126), and WC (146). The best among the small colored symbols at the end of a fable are the soup design at the end of Crow and Fowl (9); the horn-blowing gnat (71); wood, saw, nails and axe (133); and Kitten and Starling (186). The artist works hard to get the two eyes of almost every creature illustrated. Cheap paper hurts the quality of the illustrations.