Jean de La Fontaine: Fables, Tome Deuxième
La Fontaine, Jean de
I found Volume II in paperback form and was so excited that I went out and got this hardbound set of four volumes including two volumes of fables and two of La Fontaine's stories. I am not disappointed. The monochrome designs on the beginning and ending pages offer the front and back of a scene of animals around La Fontaine as he writes. The frontispiece is of TT. I find the illustrations like those I enjoy so much from Barret: small, exact, lively. Scenes open out onto large perspectives, just as the story offers perspective on a detailed action. There is an illustration about every three fables. Among the best illustrations, I would say, are "2 Pigeons" (49); "Pumpkin and Acorn" (59); " Old man and Three Youths" (133); and "The Matron of Ephesus" (197). The good illustration for "The Farmer, the Dog, and the Fox" (115) made me go back to review this fable about not taking responsibility for your own human folly. It was the farmer who left a door open for the fox, and the dog gets the punishment! There is a T of C on 237-9, and there are delightful little printer's designs along the way. I can find no information on Beaufumé. The spine is weakened, and the book spent too long in some musty place.
Éditions de la belle Étoile