Fables de la Fontaine

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Authors
Jean de La Fontaine
Issue Date
1934
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Book, Whole
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"Earlier I had found a bound copy of this book. Now I have one not yet hardbound. What a delight! As I wrote then, I had known of this book earlier, since it is reviewed in "L'Illustration" of December, 1934. I find the pen-and-ink (?) illustrations of Sylvain Sauvage witty delightful, and often farcical, exaggerated, and dramatic. There is a whole series of these before we ever meet a fable: the wolf as shepherd (front cover); death as a huge scarecrow meeting the woodgatherer (frontispiece); the proud ass carrying relics (title-page); "The Bear and the Hermit" (at the start of the life of La Fontaine); "The Astrologer" (one of the best illustrations here, and one I think I have seen before, here at the start of the preface); "The Two Pigeons" (at the start of the dedication to the Dauphin); and FC (at the start of Book I). The illustrations recur then at the rate of about three or four per book of fables. Among the best are "The Pedant and the Drowning Boy," another strong farcical presentation (35); CW (56); "The Wolf, the Mother, and the Child" (102); "The Lion and the Hunter" (131); "The Women and the Secret" (189); "The Man, the Wife, and the Thief" (238); and "The Old Man and the Three Youths" (289). There are also small endpieces throughout, as at the end of each book; I like particularly "The Young Widow" on 151. Starting with the fourth book, there are a number of uncut pages. One finds at the end both a T of C and an AI, followed by one last endpiece and one last lovely illustration of a shepherdess (back cover). What a treasure!"
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Librairie Hachette
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