Posts Tagged ‘annivesary’

525th Anniversary of Caxton’s Aesop’s Fables

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

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The first printed version of Aesop’s Fables in English was published on March 26, 1484 by William Caxton. Here, thanks to Wikipedia, is an example of the fables in Caxton’s collection, containing the dialogue between the fisherman and the fish he has caught:

Men ought not to leue that thynge whiche is sure & certayne / for hope to haue the vncertayn / as to vs reherceth this fable of a fyssher whiche with his lyne toke a lytyll fysshe whiche sayd to hym / My frend I pray the / doo to me none euylle / ne putte me not to dethe / For now I am nought / for to be eten / but whanne I shalle be grete / yf thow come ageyne hyther / of me shalt thow mowe haue grete auaylle / For thenne I shalle goo with the a good whyle / And the Fyssher sayd to the fysshe Syn I hold the now / thou shalt not scape fro me / For grete foly hit were to me for to seke the here another tyme.

The above image shows one of the earliest printed book illustrations, “Fox and Grapes” from Aesop’s Fables, printed by William Caxton.

–Paul Razzell