This volume brings together five translations of Aesopian fables that range from the beginning to the end of the English Renaissance. At the centre of the volume is an edition of the entirety of Arthur Golding’s manuscript translation of emblematic fables, A Morall Fabletalke (c. 1580s). By situating Golding’s text alongside William Caxton’s early printed translation from French (1485), Richard Smith’s English version of Robert Henryson’s Middle Scots Moral Fabillis (1577), John Brinsley’s grammar school translation (1617), and John Ogilby’s politicized fables translated at the end of the English Civil War (1651), this book shows the wide-ranging forms and functions of the fable during this period. Because Renaissance fables were not only textual but also visual, the edition includes the original images (woodcuts and engravings) designed to accompany the fables. The variety of fable translation practices included in this volume expands our understanding of literary translation in the early modern period. Likewise, the diversity of what gets counted as a fable, as the introduction shows, has implications both for the history of the Aesopian fable, and for the history of reading and thinking about fiction in the English Renaissance.
Liza Blake is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Toronto. Kathryn Vomero Santos is an Assistant Professor of English at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
‘An excellent overview of fable and its literary and educational significance for nearly two centuries, from William Caxton’s edition of 1484 to John Ogilby’s fables, last printed in 1675... this is an important book that every library should have, not only for the texts that it presents but also because it shows the remarkable range of cultural work done by fable during the long Renaissance.’ — Edward Wheatley, Renaissance Quarterly 2018, 70.4, 1652-54
‘Overall, this collection is a significant contribution to the study of English Renaissance translations, an exceptional tool to understand the function of Aesopian fables in the early modern period, and an accessible new source for scholars interested in Golding's work. It would also work well in upper-level undergraduate courses, providing students with a fascinating and illuminating view of the world of Aesopian fables' translation. This magnificent volume will be an excellent addition for any library.’ — Florinda Ruiz, Sixteenth Century Journal XLVIII:3, 2017, 813-15
‘Exhibits the same virtues as Kendal’s edition [of Chapman's Homer, TST 21]. The editors’ inclusion of a variety of Aesopian fables from the late fifteenth through the mid-seventeenth century, together with good reproductions of contemporary engravings and woodcuts, beautifully demonstrates the malleability of the genre.’ — Lowell Gallagher, Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 58.1, Winter 2018, 219-77
‘The collection’s extensive black-and-white woodcut and engraving reproductions, which appear on almost every other page, contribute substantially to its aesthetic appeal, while its large format and sturdy construction make it well worth the reasonable purchase price. Overall, this literally fabulous collection will make a welcome addition and substantial contribution to any scholarly library.’ — Mark Albert Johnston, Renaissance and Reformation 41.1, Winter 2018, 173-75
‘The individual fables are supplemented by an index, a glossary of lesser-known terms, a comprehensive bibliography, and summaries of the publication history of each text, all of which help make the volume invaluable as a reference work.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 54.1, 2018, 115
‘The fables are all illustrated with beautifully clear images taken from old texts. There is a concise and useful introduction covering literary- theoretical and -historical aspects of the fable as a kind of writing, and also the editorial principles used in preparing the texts... The new MHRA edition is justified on the grounds of its greater availability (it costs £35), and also because it contains a lot more material in the form of the fables by other authors. The range of authors and texts offered by the new edition is surely what will make it so valuable (and cheap) an edition to any university library.’ — Mike Pincombe, Spenser Review 48.2.14, Spring-Summer 2018
‘This recent volume from the MHRA’s series Tudor & Stuart Translations offers a fascinating insight into the production, circulation, and consumption of the genre of the fable, often neglected in early modern scholarship. The editors perform a valuable service in recognizing that much research still remains to be executed in this area of English Studies, an area which is all too often overshadowed by better- established traditions of theorization and criticism in other European languages.’ — Andrew Hiscock, Modern Language Review 114.1, January 2019, 113-15 (full text online)
Blake, Liza, and Kathryn Vomero Santos (eds), Arthur Golding’s A Moral Fabletalk and Other Renaissance Fable Translations, Tudor and Stuart Translations, 12 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2017)
First footnote reference:35Arthur Golding’s A Moral Fabletalk and Other Renaissance Fable Translations, ed. by Liza Blake and Kathryn Vomero Santos, Tudor and Stuart Translations, 12 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2017), p. 21.
Subsequent footnote reference:37 Blake and Santos, p. 47.