Fables de La Fontaine avec un nouveau commentaire, Tome Second
La Fontaine, Jean de
I made a mistake when I bought this pair of volumes, since I already had copies but thought that I did not. My error, however, turns out to be a lucky one. This two-volume set involves surprising placement of the same twelve illustrations reported on in the first copy I have. If we count each frontispiece as the beginning of the volume's first book, we find this surprising order of the twelve illustrations numbered by their order in my first copy: 1, 4, 7, 11, 9, 8, 5, 12, 6, 2, 3, 10. What a change! I had heard that bookbinders exercised the right to place illustration pages where they thought best, but this is quite a switch! The extra illustration in that earlier copy, The Two Servants, seems not to be here at all. Following the order of appearance here, the scenes in this Volume II include as frontispiece The Ass Carrying Relics inside The Hermit Rat (250); Philemon and Baucis (70) for Book VIII; and The Driver Bogged Down inside WL (140) for Book IX. Book X begins with L'Enfant et le Maitre d'Ecole inside a picture of FC and GA (188); Book XI with MSA inside of TT and The Cat Judges Rat and Weasel (239); and Book XII with The Shepherd and the King within FK and The Spider and the Swallow (273). As Bassy and Bodemann note, each illustration offers a medallion or a quadrangle resting on something in a scene, with one to four fable scenes playing around the medallion or quadrangle. I had to pay much more for this copy than the first, but I am glad to have this pair of volumes in the collection.
Emler Frères, Libraires