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Fables of La Fontaine — a New Edition, with Notes   By: (1621-1695)

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Fables of La Fontaine — a New Edition, with Notes by Jean de La Fontaine is an exceptional collection of timeless fables that have captivated readers for centuries. This edition, expertly crafted by Jean de La Fontaine, breathes new life into these beloved tales with insightful notes that enhance the reading experience.

The book opens with a brief introduction to La Fontaine's life and the origins of his fables, providing a context that aids in understanding the author's intentions. La Fontaine's approach to storytelling is nothing short of enchanting, drawing readers into a world where animals possess human-like qualities and impart wisdom through their struggles and triumphs.

The collection covers a wide range of themes and moral lessons, from greed and vanity to the consequences of dishonesty and the importance of modesty. Each fable is concise yet brimming with pertinent lessons that can be applied to various aspects of life. La Fontaine's choice of animals as characters allows readers to distance themselves from human biases and reflect on their own behavior, making these tales both thought-provoking and relatable.

What sets this edition apart from previous versions is the addition of La Fontaine's notes. These annotations provide a deeper understanding of the cultural and historical context surrounding each fable. They shed light on the moral dilemmas and satirical elements embedded within the tales, elevating the reading experience to new heights.

While the fables themselves are undoubtedly the heart of this book, La Fontaine's prose is noteworthy. His writing style is elegant, yet accessible, capturing the essence of each story with finesse. The language flows seamlessly and retains the poetic qualities that have made La Fontaine a master of his craft. The translator's efforts to preserve the lyrical quality of the original French version are commendable.

Moreover, this new edition is visually stunning. The illustrations, carefully selected from various sources, complement the narratives perfectly, and the placement of the artwork within the text enhances the overall reading experience. The attention to detail in the design, from the choice of fonts to the layout, is a testament to the meticulousness of the publication.

In conclusion, Fables of La Fontaine — a New Edition, with Notes by Jean de La Fontaine is an exceptional literary work that seamlessly blends timeless storytelling with insightful commentary. This edition breathes a refreshing air of life into these renowned fables, making them accessible and thought-provoking for readers of all ages. Whether you are revisiting these tales or discovering them for the first time, this book is a true delight that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression.

First Page:


Translated From The French

By Elizur Wright.

A New Edition, With Notes

By J. W. M. Gibbs.



To The Present Edition,

With Some Account Of The Translator.

The first edition of this translation of La Fontaine's Fables appeared in Boston, U.S., in 1841. It achieved a considerable success, and six editions were printed in three years. Since then it has been allowed to pass out of print, except in the shape of a small type edition produced in London immediately after the first publication in Boston, and the present publishers have thought that a reprint in a readable yet popular form would be generally acceptable.

The translator has remarked, in the "Advertisement" to his original edition (which follows these pages), on the singular neglect of La Fontaine by English translators up to the time of his own work. Forty years have elapsed since those remarks were penned, yet translations into English of the complete Fables of the chief among modern fabulists are almost as few in number as they were then. Mr. George Ticknor (the author of the "History of Spanish Literature," &c.), in praising Mr. Wright's translation when it first appeared, said La Fontaine's was "a book till now untranslated;" and since Mr... Continue reading book >>

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