Tales and Fables

Alas! what numbers are there in the town, who by their artful cringes, studied addresses, and affected airs, without one grain of wisdom are caressed, and thought men of vast importance?—"The Monkey"

While producing my Kindle edition of Adventures of Telemachus, I searched for any other work by François Fénelon that might attract my efforts. Soon, I discovered he had written a series of fables, intended for the same pupil. I am a great fan of fables and fairy tales, and am on the lookout for any nearly-forgotten treasures along those lines [my first Kindle publication was a transcription of W.R.S. Ralston's translation of Ivan Krylov's fables].

The latest English translation I could find online is a 1789 collection by Daniel Bellamy the elder (d. Feb. 6 1775) and Daniel Bellamy the younger. [Arguably, the 1750 translation by James Elphinston is newer, since the original Bellamy translation dates back to 1729.] I completed an initial transcription, but set it aside to pursue a different direction.

As far as I can tell, the most complete collections of Fénelon's fables are only available in French, and I attempted an informal translation of my own. [You can see the results here.] However, I decided not to try to publish it through Amazon, and returned to the Bellamy version to finalize it.

The text is from this scan, backed up by this scan. I also consulted this scan of the 1770 edition. I omitted the French parallel text as well as references to superfluous illustrations, modernized the typography, corrected any obvious errors, and attempted to standardize punctuation (introducing paragraph breaks where I felt appropriate), without altering the structure of any sentence.

So here it is: the master HTML version, the home-brew Kindle version, and the actual Amazon publication.

October 22, 2023

ffred's nearly-forgotten treasures