Fables

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Authors
M. (Jean-Pons-Guillaume) Viennet
Issue Date
1855
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Here is a French fabulist of whom I have known little. Fables in Verse and Other Poems Translated from the German and French by a Father and Daughter from 1890 includes a Viennet fable that I summarize in my comments on that book: "In The Fox and the Bear (79) from Viennet, the former is the latter's prisoner and soon-to-be supper. Normal flattery does not work. At last the fox notices that the bear has lost one eye, and so he begins a long speech praising Hannibal, the Cyclops, and anybody else who had just one eye. The bear swears then that he would never harm so dear a friend. If all else fails, praise a tyrant's defects!" Fabulists French by Normal Shapiro includes three Viennet fables, one of which, "The Huron Brave and the Weatherglass," turns to the same theme: please the tyrant! I am a bit confused about editions of Viennet's fables. Shapiro speaks of three editions: an original four books, each containing 21 fables; "Nouvelle Fables"; and finally an additional 63 fables, all brought together in an 1855 edition. This is an 1855 edition and it has seven books, all but one containing 21 fables. Book VI has 22 fables. No illustrations. Gilt page edges. 279 pages. 4¼" x 6".
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Hachette
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