Maison Alfred Mame et Fils.




[nd, 1870-?]


Pr?c?d?s de vie d' ?sope. nouvelle ?dition dans laquelle on aper?oit d'un coup d'?il la moralit? de la fable. illustrations par k. girardet.

Item Description

8vo. 3.75 x 5.75 inches. 400 pp. Bound in dark green morocco; spine in compartments with raised bands decorated gilt with gilt title. Inner dentelles. Marbled endpapers. All edges gilt. A little browning of page edges, but otherwise a very good copy, handsomely bound. Illustrated by frontispiece and by vignette engravings throughout. Decorated by publisher's device on title page. This edition of the Fables, considered to be one of the masterpieces of French literature, includes a dedication to the Dauphin, followed by his original preface, a life of Aesop and dedications to Madame de Montespan (Second collection) and to the Duke of Burgundy (Book 12). Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695), whose best known works were the Fables and the Contes, was a key figure of the French literary establishment during the reign of Louis XIV, being elected to the Academie Fran?aise in 1683. De La Fontaine was widely read in the authors of antiquity and in the Italians. The first collection of six books (Premier recueil) of the Fables appeared in 1668 and the second of five books (Second recueil) in 1678-79 with a twelfth book appearing only in 1694. The first collection was heavily influenced by Aesop's fables with poems involving animals and stories from Greek mythology; the second also draws on east Asian sources. The fables are largely set in the countryside and rely heavily on proverbial wisdom to reflect some of the social and political issues of the day. De La Fontaine's fables are still highly regarded and widely taught in France today. Illustrated by Karl Girardet (1813-71), French/Swiss painter and illustrator who died during the Prussian Siege of Paris. This undated edition of De La Fontaine was published in Tours from about 1870 into the twentieth century, but the copy is likely to date from the earlier period.

[Stock No. 26244]

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