c1897 Les Fables de la Fontaine Beautifully Illustrated Book


A beautiful example of the famous work ‘The Fables by Jean de la Fontaine’ (Fables de la Fontaine) which are a collection of French rhyming stories based on some of Aesop’s and Horace’s famous Fables.

They invariably have animals as the main protagonists and the stories have a cautionary conclusion. They were written by Jean de la Fontaine as a critique of society at a time where a more direct parallel would have landed him in serious trouble. The book was produced by Editions Mame et Fils, with illustrations by A. Vilmar and dated 1897. There are 486 pages, with some spotting to the first and last few pages. The inside frontispiece has an owner’s signature.

Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695) was a French fabulist and one of the most widely read French poets of the 17th century. He is known above all for his Fables, which provided a model for subsequent fabulists across Europe and numerous alternative versions in France, as well as in French regional languages. After a long period of royal suspicion, he was admitted to the French Academy and his reputation in France has never faded since. Evidence of this is found in the many pictures and statues of the writer, later depictions on medals, coins and postage stamps.

Editions Mame et fils, sd. Un volume cartonné grand in-8° illustrations de VIMAR. Cartonnage pleine toile éditeur au premier plat orné d'une composition polychrome personnalisée, tranches dorées.

Size: 25 x 33 x 4.5 cm (9 7/8 x 13 x 1 ¾ inches)
Weight: 3266g