Aesop's Fables Embellished with one Hundred eleven Elegant Engravings

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Croxall, (Samuel)
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This book is a surprising treasure. I have come to believe that it is an important early publication in one of the more important branches of Croxall's many editions. The title and publisher help, I believe, to establish its date and its rarity. Croxall's first edition in 1722 had the title: "Fables of Aesop and Others. Newly done into English. With an Application to each Fable. Illustrated with Cutts." Those cuts were by Elisha Kirkall. By 1778, the title had become "Fables of Aesop and Others. Translated into English. With Instructive Applications and a Print before each Fable." Kirkall's "cuts" were still used but he was not acknowledged. The two-volume Stockdale edition of 1793 bore the title: "The Fables of Aesop With a Life of the Author and Embellished with one Hundred Twelve Plates." The artists involved here were "T. Stothard, Grainger &c." Our title first occurs in T. Heptinstall's first edition of 1797 with illustrations by Thomas Kirk. The present slightly larger (3¾" x 6⅜") copy has the same title but with a change of publisher to "C. Whittingham, Dean Street, Fetter Lane" and then a long list of subscribers. Bodemann #186 has the 1797 as the first in that number's thread. The copy she is working from is actually from 1818 and she notes "Nachdruck der Ausgabe London T. Heptinstall 1797: C. Whittingham." I wish I were better able to construe this comment! Still, somewhere in this early printing of the Kirk editions this little book belongs. The British Museum locates Charles Whittingham on Dean Street from 1803 to 1807. Many later copies add "Chiswick Press," which he used starting in 1811. Later Croxall editions take another step: "Aesop's Fables with Upwards of One Hundred and Fifty Engravings on Wood," as in our 1828 edition by Joseph Booker et al. The front cover of this present fragile copy is separated.
C. Whittingham, Dean Street, Fetter Lane
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