La Fontaine’s Complete Tales in Verse

An Illustrated and Annotated Translation

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About the Book

Though they were first written over 300 years ago, this is the first complete English translation of Jean de La Fontaine’s comedic classic Contes et nouvelles en vers. Both sexually charged and wickedly funny, La Fontaine’s Tales will surprise readers who know him only from his work on fables for children. Though the writing is more suggestive than vulgar, it still has the power to shock readers unprepared for the darkness that inhabits these poems. Included are nearly seventy illustrations dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, many of them rare, as well as extensive commentary by the editor.

About the Author(s)

Randolph Paul Runyon is a professor of French in the Department of French and Italian at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Bibliographic Details

Jean de La Fontaine
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 272
Bibliographic Info: 69 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4161-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5278-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v

Preface      1

BOOK ONE

1. “Jocondo”      5

2. “Richard Minutolo”      12

3. “The Cuckold, Cudgeled but Content”      16

4. “The Husband Who Heard Confession”      19

5. “The Cobbler and His Wife”      20

6. “Bosom Buddies”      22

7. “The Glutton”      23

8. “A Model Nun”      24

9. “Provincial Justice”      24

10. “The Peasant Who Angered His Lord”      26

11. “In the Court of Love”      28

12. “Vulcan’s Revenge”      29

13. “The Ballad of the Books”      31

BOOK TWO

1. “The Ear-Maker”      33

2. “The Catalonian Friars”      36

3. “The Cradle”      41

4. “The Muleteer”      44

5. “The Saint Julian Prayer”      46

6. “The Servant Girl Found Guiltless”      51

7. “The Three Wives’ Wager”      53

8. “How Old Men Count the Days”      60

9. “A Money-Minded Woman Meets Her Match”      64

10. “You Can’t Think of Everything”      66

11. “The Bumpkin in Search of His Calf ”      67

12. “Hans Carvel’s Ring”      67

13. “The Boasting Braggart Punished”      69

14. “The Runaway Bride”      72

15. “The Hermit Monk”      84

16. “Mazet of Lamporechio”      88

BOOK THREE

1. “Brother Philip’s Geese”      92

2. “The Mandrake”      95

3. “An Evening in Reims”      100

4. “The Enchanted Cup”      104

5. “The Falcon”      111

6. “The Courtesan Who Fell in Love”      116

7. “Nicaise”      120

8. “The Saddle”      124

9. “The Kiss in Exchange”      125

10. “Time to Confess”      126

11. “Portrait of Iris”      126

12. “Cupid the Intruder”      127

13. “The Quarrel between a Beauty’s Mouth and Eyes”      129

14. “The Wonder Dog”      131

15. “Clymene”      138

BOOK FOUR

1. “How Girls Get Smart”      150

2. “The Mother Superior”      152

3. “The Wife Swappers”      155

4. “A Clear Conscience”      157

5. “The Devil of Popefingerdom”      160

6. “Ferondo in Purgatory”      163

7. “The Psalter”      167

8. “King Candaules and the Professor of Law”      169

9. “Putting the Devil in Hell”      175

10. “The Farmer and His Mare”      178

11. “Eel Pâté”      181

12. “The Eyeglasses”      184

13. “Convincing Kate”      187

14. “The Tub”      188

15. “Mission Impossible”      190

16. “The Magnificent One”      192

17. “The Painting”      195

THE UNCOLLECTED TALES

1. “The Ephesian Matron”      200

2. “Belphegor”      204

3. “The Little Bell”      208

4. “The River Scamander”      210

5. “The Unwitting Go-Between”      212

6. “The Remedy”      215

7. “Indiscreet Confessions”      217

8. “Mixed Up in the Dark”      219

9. “A Rearward Glance”      222

Notes on the Tales      225

Bibliography      261

Index      263