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Penguin Island by Anatole France Illustrated by Frank C. Pape 1927 - $15 (Beverly)

Penguin Island by Anatole France Illustrated by Frank C. Pape 1927 1 thumbnailPenguin Island by Anatole France Illustrated by Frank C. Pape 1927 2 thumbnailPenguin Island by Anatole France Illustrated by Frank C. Pape 1927 3 thumbnailPenguin Island by Anatole France Illustrated by Frank C. Pape 1927 4 thumbnailPenguin Island by Anatole France Illustrated by Frank C. Pape 1927 5 thumbnailPenguin Island by Anatole France Illustrated by Frank C. Pape 1927 6 thumbnailPenguin Island by Anatole France Illustrated by Frank C. Pape 1927 7 thumbnailPenguin Island by Anatole France Illustrated by Frank C. Pape 1927 8 thumbnailPenguin Island by Anatole France Illustrated by Frank C. Pape 1927 9 thumbnailPenguin Island by Anatole France Illustrated by Frank C. Pape 1927 10 thumbnailPenguin Island by Anatole France Illustrated by Frank C. Pape 1927 11 thumbnailPenguin Island by Anatole France Illustrated by Frank C. Pape 1927 12 thumbnailPenguin Island by Anatole France Illustrated by Frank C. Pape 1927 13 thumbnailPenguin Island by Anatole France Illustrated by Frank C. Pape 1927 14 thumbnailPenguin Island by Anatole France Illustrated by Frank C. Pape 1927 15 thumbnailPenguin Island by Anatole France Illustrated by Frank C. Pape 1927 16 thumbnailPenguin Island by Anatole France Illustrated by Frank C. Pape 1927 17 thumbnailPenguin Island by Anatole France Illustrated by Frank C. Pape 1927 18 thumbnailPenguin Island by Anatole France Illustrated by Frank C. Pape 1927 19 thumbnailPenguin Island by Anatole France Illustrated by Frank C. Pape 1927 20 thumbnailPenguin Island by Anatole France Illustrated by Frank C. Pape 1927 21 thumbnail
14 Prospect Street near Munroe

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condition: excellent

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Near excellent condition. Mylar cover. No dust jacket.

Slight scuffing and lower corner bump to front cover. All pages intact, binding tight.

Near-excellent condition. Slight scuffing to front cover. No dust jacket. All pages intact, binding tight.

Penguin Island, written by French author Anatole France, is a satirical fictional history that takes a whimsical and thought-provoking journey through time. Let me share some intriguing details about this remarkable work:

Plot Overview:
Penguin Island is presented in the style of an expansive 18th- and 19th-century history book. It weaves together grand metanarratives, mythologizing heroes, hagiography, and romantic nationalism.
The story begins when a myopic Christian missionary monk accidentally lands on a fictitious island inhabited by great auks (not penguins, as the name suggests). These upright, unafraid auks are perceived as a pre-Christian society of noble pagans.
Mistaking the auks for humans, the monk baptizes them, which poses a dilemma for The Lord. Normally, only humans are eligible for baptism. After heavenly consultations, The Lord converts the baptized birds into humans, leaving them with subtle physical traces of their ornithological origin and granting them souls.
Thus begins the history of Penguinia, a parallel to France (and Western Europe), mirroring historical events from the Migration Period to the modern era and even into a future cycle of destruction and rebirth.
Satire and Themes:
Penguin Island satirizes various aspects of society and human nature. It lampoons morals, customs, religion, and laws within the context of this fictional land.
Real historical figures like Columba and Saint Augustine appear alongside fictionalized characters representing historical people.
The novel’s longest-running plot thread targets the infamous Dreyfus affair, a complex and controversial event in French history.
France’s wit and insight shine through as he explores the origins of private property, political systems, and philosophical ideas.
Zoological Accuracy:
Interestingly, Anatole France’s imaginary nation has a peculiar origin myth. The great auks mistakenly baptized by the monk are transformed into humans by God. Their island is relocated near continental Europe.
While the novel refers to them as penguins, it’s worth noting that great auks were the likely inspiration, given their geographical location near the Arctic circle.
In summary, Penguin Island is both hilarious and profound—a delightful blend of satire, history, and imagination that invites readers to ponder the quirks of human existence and the twists of fate that shape our world.

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