London and New York: Cassell, Petter, and Galpin, [c. 1870]. Early Doré Edition in English. Large quarto ( 308 x 238 mm.). Publishers Deluxe Morocco binding, front cover richly decorated in gilt and blind, rear cover similarly decorated in blind, spine with five raised bands, decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt and blind in compartments, decorative gilt board-edges and turn-ins, yellow coated endpapers, all edges gilt. Front cover has the name "B.F. Andrews" in gilt. Collating lxiv, 840, with engraved portrait frontispiece, two inserted full-page plates, 84 full page plates in the pagination, and hundreds of text illustrations. A Near Fine and very clean example.
Dore illustrates the influential fables of La Fontaine -- some of the most recognizable in the western world -- and he draws on his own recollections of nature and animals. "Some vivid examples of this photographic memory appear in the animals and birds of his La Fontaine. There are horses and dogs, birds and sheep and insects, all so lively that they give the illusion of having been studied from life. The little vignettes, bursting out of their nutshell format, are specially convincing" (Gosling). (Item #3609)