Aesop's Fables

Aesop's Fables

by Aesop, Isaac Bashevis Singer (Introduction), 2 othersG. F. Townsend (Translator), Murray Tinkelman (Illustrator)
©1968, Item: 18460
Hardcover, 214 pages
Current Retail Price: $9.95
Not in stock

After Isaac Bashevis Singer's introduction—The Fable as Literary Form—and a short preface by the translator, this handsome text offers 314 of Aesop's fables,enhanced with simple line drawings by Murray Tinkleman.


Slow but steady wins the race.
Look before you leap.
Necessity is the mother of invention.

These pungent expressions, so familiar today, have a romantic past that goes back more than 2000 years. An ex-slave named Aesop said them first.

A storyteller who was freed from slavery because of his wit and cleverness, Aeson traveled with a bagful of simple tales, always with a moral or sharp point to drive home.

Aesop told his stories for adults, but because animals with all the weaknesses and strengths of humans were used as the main characters, Aesop's Fables came to be considered children's stories.

This collection, based on the nineteenth-century research and translation of George Fyler Townsend, returns the fables to the adult audience for which they were intended. All the charm and wit of Aesop are in the tales, but they have a style and sophistication lacking in the juvenile editions.

The familiar stories are all here—"The Fox and the Grapes," "The Hen and the Golden Eggs," "The Hare and the Tortoise." And besides these, dozens of lesser-known fables, first uncovered by Townsend, are among the more than 300 included in this edition.

Lovers of fine books will want to own and refer often to this delightful new volume. In addition to a perceptive Introduction by Isaac Bashevis Singer, this work contains Townsend's original Preface, his biographical sketch of Aesop, and a collection of 50 new illustrations by Murray Tinkelman.

Mr. Singer, one of literature's best-loved and most respected storytellers, writes in his Introduction:

"In a time of literary verbosity and the writer's habit of burying images and events behind mountains of interpretation and analysis, it is a special pleasure to return to the brevity, directness, and clarity of the fable. . . .

"It is a fact that the writers of fables used cliches, but these were not cliches of style but symbols of eternal character. . .Aesop's fables teach lessons both in life and literature that are valid today and will remain so forever."

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