A History Of The World

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Today I finished enjoying another Bodley Head publication of the collaboration between author Anatole France and illustrator Frank C. PapΓ©. The book was first published in 1908, which has significance for one example of the writer’s prescience. Focussed on France as Penguinia this is a satyrical history of Western Europe in general, with a pop at the United States. As usual, I will not spoil the story with details, save to say that anyone with some knowledge of world history, philosophy, politics, or religion will get the gist of this acute analysis of human nature, society, morals, and customs. The writing from M. France is as flowing as ever, and the final Book VIII chilling in its foresight.

A.W. Evans has provided an excellent translation.

Mr. PapΓ©’s illustrations are as skilled as ever. Do not miss any detail of the exquisite, often humorous, main plates,

or this selection of the black and white tailpieces.

Late this afternoon, Jackie drove the two of us around the forest where

as usual, ponies and donkeys occupied the green at South Gorley. Although this village is now barely a hamlet, the large, now residential, building forming a backdrop for the pony scenes was once a school. The fifth picture contains a familiar view of a pony, legs in the air, scratching its back on the grass.

Around the corner, pigs at pannage snuffled up fallen acorns. One, oblivious of the approaching car, leisurely trotted across the road.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips and Garner’s pickled onions. Jackie and I drank Wairau Cove Sauvignon Blanc 2017, while Elizabeth finished the Brouilly.

 

50 thoughts on “A History Of The World

  1. The final sentences on page 105 made me laugh out loud. I busied myself initially studying the illustrations, but then got into the prose. I can see why you appreciated this book. It seems like every page holds a little fable or analogy that pertains to human nature or society – and the humour is spot on! πŸ˜€ I’m going on a hunt!!

  2. “Pay him tribute,” said one of them who passed for a wise man. This world is full of those who ‘pass’ for wise men. We have ’em, you have ’em, the Yanks have ’em. Would that we had a few who actually were.

  3. Beautiful illustrations! I love seeing them!

    As for the pony….sometimes you just gotta’ get to that pesky itch and scratch it! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€

    Looks like the piggies rule their corner of the world! πŸ˜€
    HUGS!!! πŸ™‚

  4. Those illustrations are quite wonderful and compliment the words of that prescient author.
    The ponies and the village buildings with their thatched roofs look like they’re from centuries ago.
    The pigs are so big, and they do seem to be taking over that area. πŸ™‚

  5. Fascinating and freaky illustrations. I like the ponies of course. Thursday, I drove out to see my friend in the country and passed by a horse farm near her house. There’s something both calming and exciting about having horses and ponies around.

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