Aesop's Fables

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At first, I thought this book would be identical with another edition I have listed under the same date and publisher. A chance to inspect the two together shows a number of differences, starting from a cover illustration here of MSA, whereas there Aesop was at the center of the cover, crowned with laurel and writing with a feather. This copy lacks the patterned end-paper on the inside of both front and back covers. It also lacks any declaration on the verso of the title-page about where the book was printed. The last page here claims the series, Nelson's Standard Bumper Books, and lists nine books in the series. The other copy lists six titles in the same series but does not mention the series and does not include Aesop's Fables. I will reproduce here my comments on that copy. For a long time, I had thought this would be a book that would take hours to read because it is so thick. It turns out that it is only 96 pages long, with very thick paper. Orr's art work is very nice. I find three of the four color plates outstanding! They are The Eagle and the Crow (24), TB (torn, 48), The Thieves and the Cock (72). There are many black-and-white illustrations, both full and part page. Among the best of them are: DM (15), The Miser (41), The Ass and the Little Dog (57), The Astrologer (59, dressed like Noel Coward), The Rat and the Frog (77), and The Ass and His Driver (78). Many especially of the full-page black-and-white illustrations make great use of the open undefined space around the figures; in this respect Orr may be only one step away from Calder. The five or six texts I have checked have all come verbatim from either Dalkeith or James. Note the additions to and variations from traditional stories: The hare lies down and says If that slow-coach passes, I shall see him and easily catch him up again before she falls asleep (18). A doe (not a fox or a group) argues with the lioness about children and says that she bears only one or two in a lifetime (38). The shepherd boy cries Wolf! from time to time (42). Orr's work is presented at five places in Ash and Higton, but he is not mentioned at all in Bodemann or Hobbs.
Thomas Nelson & Sons Ltd.
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