The Fables of Jean de La Fontaine
La Fontaine, Jean de
. Hurst . NY ,
PQ1811.E3 T6 1870a (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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This book is so inexpensive because it is in very poor condition. Its spine is particularly torn and shrivelled. It also has some torn (and uncut?) last pages. If one compares this book with both The Standard Amies Art Edition which I list adjacently and the 1886 edition from Pictorial, one starts to notice things. First of all, the essay on LaFontaine and the life of Aesop promised by the title-page, along with the preface found in the other two editions and the last 176 pages and their fifty-two fables, are not here! Even the first illustration (of GA) is missing. As far as I can tell, these things did not fall out; they were never part of the book! Talk about a hack job of taking over someone else's plates and using them! It may be some evidence of the switch that the spine imprint spreads too far around this thin book. Someone even removed the Gustave from Doré's name because there would not be enough room for it on this narrowed spine. If the pages had been printed and had fallen out, I do not think we would find an unprinted reverse of the last page (557), whose reverse is printed—with the start of Fable 189—in the other two editions. This edition has all silver, rather than some silver and some gold, for its last phase on the cover. Am I deceived, or is the imprinting of the basic cover pattern also much shallower? My, the things one finds in the history of publication!