FABLES OF LA FONTAINE, illustr. by Gutave Dore - c.1870 [Fine Binding]


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The Fables of La Fontaine 

translated into English Verse by Walter Thornbury

illustrated by Gustave Dore

London and New York: Cassell, Petter, and Galpin, c.1870.

This volume includes a binder's error, described below.

Hardback is overall in VERY GOOD condition.

  • Handsome antiquarian three-quarter leather binding features gilt lines on covers with design on front, as well as gilt lettering and design with five raised bands on rounded spin, and AEG.
  • Covers display overall wear and aging, with rubbing along edges and gentle fading.
  • Boards are exposed at front corners. Back foot corner shows a 2.5" long repaired chip into leather.
  • Spine exhibits rubbing as well as some cracking of leather, with a 1.25" long repaired chip on raised bands, and a 1" x 1.25" repaired chip to leather at head, that partially affects gilt design. (See photos)
  • Close examination of spine reveals expert repairs, blending any damage with matching leather under spine.
  • Binding is secure, with some cracking visible at hinges. The earlier expert repair did not include endpaper replacements.
  • Endpapers are a little faded, with glue visible along margins. 
  • Front pastedown shows a previous owner signature. (See photos)
  • Front fep has pencil writing at head corner.
  • Illustrations are well preserved, with gentle toning, and remain overall unaffected by occasional foxing inside. (See photos)
  • Interior is gently age-toned, with occasional foxing, mostly in margins on last pages, and some dried edges with a persistent marginal stain along head edges, visible on first pages including title up to list of illustrations page. Foxing becomes consequent in margins on last pages starting approx. from  page 760.
  • Inside pages are free of writing and intentional marks. 
  • Pages 812-813 shows two 1.5" tears to foot of gutter, symmetrical on both pages, that join at gutter. Publisher's flaw also includes a crease that faces each tear. (See photos)
  • Text block edges display commensurate fading and some scuffing. 
  • Book may exhibit additional minor signs of age or wear.
  • SC20191002

840 pages. 9.75 x 12.25 inches.

Handsome antiquarian volume is three quarter-bound in leather and features gilt design and lettering on covers and spine, as well as AEG, and five raised bands on rounded spine. 

Binder's error: Duplicate of "Eagle and Owl" story and illustration, but missing the pages 297-304, the four-sheet signature that would include the "Stag and Vine." (Price reflects this publisher's error.)

Here is a timeless classic brought to life by the magnificent illustrations of one of the most beloved illustrators of all times. Inspired by Aesop's prose works, the Fables of La Fontaine are as entertaining as they are instructive, and have been treasured through the ages for their beautiful verse, and the lessons of wisdom they teach the young and old alike. Elegantly translated from the original French by Walter Thornbury, they retain in this version all of their original charm. 

Features the lavish illustrations of Gustave Dore. Translated into English verse by Walter Thornbury. Includes a list of fables, a list of illustrations, an essay on the life and works of La Fontaine, an essay on the life of Aesop, and a preface.

Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695) was a French fabulist. One of the most widely read French poets of his century, he became a member of the French Academy and his name has remained illustrious ever since. Numerous pictures and statues of the writer, as well as depictions on coins, medals and postage stamps testify to his fame. 

Gustave Dore (1832-1883) was a French artist, print maker, illustrator, comic artist, caricaturist, and sculptor best known for his wood engravings. He illustrated countless classics and works by the most beloved writers of his time - in poetry, novels, short stories, as well as numerous and varied collections. His illustrations for Cervantes' Don Quixote became so famous that most adaptations of the story were influenced for his depiction of the appearance of the two main characters. 

Aesop (c. 620 - 564 BCE) was an Ancient Greek storyteller and fabulist. Particularly noted for the collection of fables known as Aesop's Fables, featuring animals and objects with human characteristics such as speech and thought, he is the alleged author of numerous tales that survived through the centuries through oral storytelling traditions.

George Walter Thornbury (1828-1876) was an English author. A journalist by profession, he also wrote verse, and was noted for being the first biographer of J. M. W. Turner.

AS IS! Please see photos. More photos available upon request.

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