Aesop. Fables and Storyes. 1699.
Aesop (supposedly 610-560 B.C.) may not have been the first moral fabulist, but no other has been so often quoted, copied, parodied, or reprinted. At any age since his lifetime, few readers can have been unfamiliar with his tales.[PMM] This edition, published in London, is conspicuously freighted with moral lessons and interpretations to be derived from the Fables, unsurprising due to the fact that English printing suffered under the heaviest censorship and restrictions during the seventeenth century. By the Star Chamber Decree of 1637 the number of licensed printers in England was limited to twenty. They increased somewhat during the rule of Cromwell, but Charles II, on assuming power, ordered that they be reduced once more to twenty "by death or otherwise."[AHB]
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