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THE COMPLETE FAIRY TALES. Charles Perrault; edited by Christopher Betts; illustrations by Gustave Dore. Oxford World's Classics Hardback Collection. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018. 264 pp. ISBN 9780198817970. $22.95.

THE MABINOGION. Translated with an Introduction and Notes by Sioned Davies. Oxford World's Classics Hardback Collection. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018. 294 pp. ISBN 9780198815242. $24.95.

The Oxford World's Classics is a venerable series that has been around for over 100 years, according to the press's website, and has printed more than 750 titles representing the most enduring books from around the world. The current hardback series, relaunched in 2017, features handsome single-color cloth bindings stamped in one color. While individual titles are frequently updated, this Mabinogion (in a scarlet binding stamped in gold) is a reprint of a 2007 edition. Sioned Davies's Introduction places the collection of tales in context and provides a brief textual history, in addition to a note on the translation, a pronunciation guide, a bibliography, and a map; the end matter includes notes and indexes of personal and place names. The Perrault Fairy Tales (in turquoise cloth stamped in navy), similarly, is a reprint of a 2009 edition, and includes a comparable set of helpful introductory and ending material. The Dore illustrations are printed with no margin, aside from the frontispiece, which somehow renders the more grotesque ones all the more disturbing. Other titles of potential mythopoeic interest in the current series include Frankenstein, A Christmas Carol, M.R. James's Collected Ghost Stories, Arthur Conan Doyle's Gothic Tales, Arthur Machen's The Great God Pan and Other Horror Stories, The Iliad, The Odyssey, and Victorian Fairy Tales. The press's website, however, is unfortunately coy about which titles are reissues and which include new critical material.

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Author:Croft, Janet Brennan
Date:Sep 22, 2018

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