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Book/Printed Material La Fontaine's Fables. Fables de La Fontaine

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About this Item


  • La Fontaine's Fables.

Other Title

  • Fables de La Fontaine


  • Jean de la Fontaine (1621-95) was the author of 12 books containing a total of 243 fables in verse, published between 1668 and 1694. Inspired by fable writers of classical antiquity, and more specifically by Aesop's Fables, Lafontaine created anthropomorphic animals. Each tale tells a vivid story, which always ends with a moral. Examples include "La raison du plus fort est toujours la meilleure" (Might makes right) in "The wolf and the lamb;" "On a souvent besoin d'un plus petit que soi" (A mouse may be of service to a lion) in "The lion and the mouse;" "Rien ne sert de courir; il faut partir à point" (Slow and steady wins the race) in "The tortoise and the hare;" and "Aide-toi, le Ciel t'aidera" (Heaven helps those who help themselves) in "The carter stuck in the mud." La Fontaine described the educational influence of his fables in these words: "I use animals to instruct humans" using all tones of language, all situations, in order "to create / a large comedy of 100 acts / whose stage is the Universe." The fables became an enormous and lasting success upon their publication, and remain one of the greatest classics of French literature. They also inspired a number of artists to illustrate the tales, among them Gustave Doré, Daumier, and Chagall. The illustrations from this 1875 edition follow the style of images d'Epinal (Epinal prints). These were prints of popular subjects produced in the brightly colored style favored by Jean-Charles Pellerin, who in 1796 named his publishing house for his birthplace, Épinal.


  • La Fontaine, Jean de, 1621-1695 Author.

Created / Published

  • Épinal : Pellerin, 1875.


  • -  France
  • -  1621 to 1695
  • -  Children's books
  • -  Fables, French
  • -  French poetry
  • -  Poetry


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  Original resource at: National Library of France.
  • -  Content in French.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021666944

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

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Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

La Fontaine, Jean De, Author. La Fontaine's Fables. Épinal: Pellerin, 1875. Pdf.

APA citation style:

La Fontaine, J. D. (1875) La Fontaine's Fables. Épinal: Pellerin. [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

La Fontaine, Jean De, Author. La Fontaine's Fables. Épinal: Pellerin, 1875. Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.