"In this contemporary translation, Craig Hill has captured the liveliness, satiric wit, and poetic beauty that made Jean de La Fontaine famous during his lifetime and his Fables celebrated as a masterwork of world literature ever since." "Despite La Fontaine's deceptively modest claim that all he intended was to put the moral tales of Aesop and other ancient fabulists into poetry for the pleasure of Louis XIV's young son, his real accomplishment, as later generations have understood, was holding a mirror up to the society of his day and in the process fashioning a work that has become a classic.". "Borrowing from a variety of sources, La Fontaine gave the hitherto mute animals in ancient fables the power of speech. Putting his characters on stage and endowing them with irresistibly witty dialogue, he portrayed with great humor the flaws and pretensions that still dog us. Backstabbing politicians, brainless nincompoops, charlatans, clueless heads of state, egomaniacs, empty-headed celebrities, foolish investors, gluttons, liars, penny pinchers, self-important blowhards, and wastrels - the targets of the poet's pen were legion and remain so today." "Craig Hill has given us a rare treat: both the irreverent spirit and the vivid poetry that have made La Fontaine's fables beloved through the ages, continuing to amuse and inspire centuries after they first appeared in print. Making this volume even more of a delight are a dozen scintillating illustrations by Edward Sorel."--BOOK JACKET.