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de La Fontaine, Jean - Fifty Fables of La Fontaine Limited Edition - ( Item 138957 )

Published in London by Folio Society. 2013. First Thus. Fine Hardback. No inscriptions or bookplates. Near Fine slipcase. Slight fading around slipcase entrance. Edition limited to 1,000 copies of which this is number 153. Each copy hand-numbered and signed by Quentin Blake. Featuring approximately 58 unique illustrations by Quentin Blake. Translated from the French by Norman R. Shapiro. Bound in Indian goatskin blocked in gold foil. Set in Garamond. Gilded top edge. Printed on Modigliani paper. 128 pages. Book size: 11¼" x 8½". Jean de La Fontaine was the most widely read French poet of the 17th century. An individual of curious contradictions – both in his life and his art – he is also to be thanked, more than any other writer, for our enduring love of tales such as 'The Crow and the Fox' and 'The Hare and the Tortoise'. This new collector’s edition presents 50 of his fables, selected and illustrated by Quentin Blake, and introduced by Sarah Bakewell. Within the rich tradition of animal fables that began with Aesop around 600 BC, La Fontaine occupies pride of place. His versified fables, issued in several volumes between 1668 and 1694, sparkle with sprightly moral messages, an irreverent sense of humour and a gaily aberrant approach to the conventions of rhythm and rhyme. La Fontaine possessed, as Sarah Bakewell writes in her introduction, 'a spiritedness which went perfectly well with dire moral warnings, cynical observation of character, and bad things happening to innocent creatures, all of which occur constantly in the Fables'. La Fontaine’s fables have been visualised by an illustrious list of illustrators, from Gustave Doré to Marc Chagall. Ful?lling a long-held ambition, Quentin Blake has created a series of beautifully orchestrated illustrations, including at least one for each fable. Some are full-page drawings set in borders, others are free-floating. Blake brings to life the pivotal moments of each fable, drawing out contemporary associations and blending his own humour with the author’s. The sense of energy and movement in his work is perfectly suited to La Fontaine’s jaunty rhymes, and each ?gure, whether human or animal, is wonderfully expressive such as the hungry Gascony fox with his walking stick and de?ant purple scarf. Blake’s deft use of colour, often based on two contrasting or complementary tones, adds to the vivid charm of these delightful illustrations.

Price £ 312.10 (inc UK postage)                 Other items you may like                 Others by the same author

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