Le fablier françois, ou élite des meilleurs fables depuis La Fontaine.

Paris, Lottin le jeune, 1771.

12mo, pp. xviii, [ii], 556; woodcut device on title; light spotting in places, but largely clean and fresh throughout; in nineteenth century half dark green morocco, marbled boards, spine gilt in compartments between raised bands, marbled edges; very slight rubbing to joints, but still a good copy.

£650

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Le fablier françois, ou élite des meilleurs fables depuis La Fontaine.

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First edition, rare, of what has a claim to be the first comprehensive collection of French fables from the period after La Fontaine, assembled by the diplomat, lawyer, and historian Louis-Théodore Herissant (1743–1811). Collecting together fables from writers both famous (Voltaire, J.B. Rousseau, Boileau) and obscure, the work includes many hitherto unpublished fables, in many cases offered to Herissant by their authors for this anthology, as well as others that have appeared in publications such as the Mercure de France. In all, we find 323 fables, divided into sixteen sections, including a final section of ‘Apologies Orientaux‘, kept separate as a comparatively recent genre (although there is little of the Orient about them). The volume concludes with brief biographical sketches of the (known) authors.

Hérissant was the author of various works including a biography of Malebranche, an essay on taste, a comedy, and an historical survey of German literature; he studied German law and was appointed secretary of the legation to the Diet of Regensburg in 1772.

Outside Continental Europe, OCLC records copies at Stanford, Duke, Brown, and the London Library.

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