London: William Heinemann, 1912. Item #04232
Classic Fables, Classic Rackham
Bound by Sangorski & Sutcliffe for E. Joseph
[RACKHAM, Arthur]. AESOP. Aesop's Fables. A New Translation by V.S. Vernon Jones with an Introduction by G. K. Chesterton and Illustrations by Arthur Rackham. London: William Heinemann, 1912.
Limited to 1,450 numbered copies signed by the artist, this being copy no. 1055.
Large quarto (11 7/16 x 8 7/8 inches; 291 x 227 mm). xxix, [1,blank], 223,  pp. Thirteen color plates mounted on heavy brown paper, with captioned tissue guards, and fifty-three black and white text drawings, nineteen of which are full-page. Limitation leaf very slightly browned, mounted color plate facing p. 56 with slight crease to lower left corner, otherwise fine.
Bound ca. 1993 by Sangorski & Sutcliffe for E. Joseph (stamp-signed in gilt on front turn-in) in full dark green crushed levant morocco. Covers ruled in gilt, front cover pictorially stamped and lettered in gilt to match the original 1912 cover design, spine paneled and lettered in gilt in compartments, gilt-ruled board edges and turn-ins, top edge gilt, others uncut, marbled endpapers. A fine copy.
Aesop's Fables or the Aesopica is a collection of fables credited to Aesop, a slave and story-teller believed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 560 BC.
The 1st century AD philosopher, Apollonius of Tyana, is recorded as having said about Aesop: "... like those who dine well off the plainest dishes, he made use of humble incidents to teach great truths, and after serving up a story he adds to it the advice to do a thing or not to do it. Then, too, he was really more attached to truth than the poets are; for the latter do violence to their own stories in order to make them probable; but he by announcing a story which everyone knows not to be true, told the truth by the very fact that he did not claim to be relating real events" (Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana, Book V:14).
Lattimore and Haskell, pp. 38-9. Riall, p. 111.