About the book:
This edition of Aesop’s Fables is a relatively hard-to-find edition, containing 110 illustration. Each tale is accompanied by a moral – e.g., “Dishonest rulers overthrow a state”, and an application explaining the moral. The morals and applications were written by Townsend and Valentine.
Tradition has it that Aesop was a freed Phrygian slave living in the 6th century BC, making this the world’s oldest collection of stories. Originally orally transmitted, there are over 300 fables, many of which have become proverbial to us – ‘The Hare and the Tortoise’, ‘The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’ for example.
According to Life of Aesop (an ancient account), Aesop was born an ugly mute slave, but was granted the power to speak and craft fables in return for his generosity to one of the attendants of the goddess Isis.