Woodland Romances; or, Fables and Fancies

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Authors
Matéaux, Clara L
Issue Date
1877
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Book, Whole
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This is a curious book of 192 pages, followed by eight pages of advertisements for books by Cassell, Petter & Galpin. Perhaps three-fourths of the book are rhyming verse stories based on standard Aesopic fables. These are expanded into rather moralistic teaching stories. In two cases, Mateaux combines or develops traditional fables. There is a fable about two men fighting each other while a robber makes off on the animal they were fighting over. Here that fable is combined, somewhat strangely, with the story of the blind and lame men helping each other (128). Similarly, the standard story of the drowning boy being lectured by a pedant is expanded here to include his mother's extensive advice to the boy and his apparent death. When Johnnie revives, he apparently himself delivers the lesson to Dr. Evertalk. The blue cloth cover has an embossed scene of The Cormorant and the Fishes done in black and gold. This story is on 160. It is the Kalila and Dimna story of ferrying fish to supposed safety. The fishes' anxious gold heads on the cover form one of this book's high points. Clever titles may obscure what stories are really expanded fables and which fable a particular story represents. Many of the illustrations seem to be copied from Doré. Several different styles or groups of illustrations are gathered here. Cassell, Petter & Galpin made sturdy books.
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Cassell Petter & Galpin,
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