Readership: Readers of poetry, French literature, folklore and fable, those interested in French cultural
history; students of 17th-century French literature, history, and culture, comparative literature, folklore.
Jean de La Fontaine
La Fontaine (1621-95) followed a career as a poet after early training for the law and the Church. He came under the wing of Louis XIV's Finance Minister, Nicolas Fouquet, and later enjoyed the patronage of the Duchess of Orléans and Mme de La Sablière. His Fables were widely admired, and he was already regarded in his lifetime as one of the greatest poets of his age.
"Christopher Betts's new versions [of the Fables] provide a fine introduction. He translates into easy and pleasing rhyme ... Betts is a respectful translator, avoiding jarring anachronisms and preserving the good humour and wit of the original. You feel you are in the hands of someone who understands La Fontaine and finds him congenial ... The volume itself, illustrated with engravings by Gustave Doré, is beautifully produced and a pleasure to read." - Maya Slater, Times Literary Supplement
"This beautiful book is enhanced with glorious pictures by Gustav Doré the stories are readable... it's perfect. This is an edition of a classic work that will enrich anyone's collection." - Books
"Betts's translation does an excellent job of conveying the lightness and grace of the original pieces. Even those overly familiar with many of these myths will find it difficult not to be charmed by how well these verses flow ... This excellent new translation should appeal to most students of literature and anyone with an interest in fables" - Library Journal