This little book is quite special.
It is very old – but not dated. Our guess is 1810 – 1830 or thereabouts.
It is in French so if you don’t know French read no further…
It is called Fables de La Fontaine*
It is ‘ornées de figures’ – this means it is illustrated! It is – but not a lot - there are 7 little pictures in all. We are showing a couple below: the first shows L’astrologue qui se laissé tomber dans un puits which we roughly translate as The Astrologer allows himself to fall into a Well!
The second L’Enfant et le Maitre d’Ecole – (the child and the schoolmaster) shows a teacher so busy teaching that he has not noticed his pupil has fallen into a foaming river. This may or may not be the case. We are reading the picture not the text.
Let’s face it – these little images are wonderful.
We are also charmed by the binding – no we don’t mean the covers which are verging on horrible, we mean the way the book has been bound. Inept is a word that springs to mind – pages of different sizes stitched in with little attempt at alignment… Great!
6¼ x 4 inches and 359 pages long.
Oh yes and we nearly forgot to mention, someone has taken a bite out of the first blank endpaper - we think to remove a previous owner's signature.
This book may or may not be quite rare and valuable. We have priced it to sell but if you fancy it and want it cheaper please remember you can get fabulous deals on Cybergrot.com
*Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695) was born in the Champagne region of France, and is probably the most widely-read French poet of the seventeenth century. His Fables, the first book of which was published in 1668, were written in verse and were a great success. They are stories of country people, heroes from Greek mythology and familiar animals, and each tale contains a moral. He borrowed his material unashamedly from Aesop's fables and he included favourites such as The Tortoise and the Hare, The Grasshopper and the Ant, and The Raven and the Fox.