The Poodle-Prince

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A new edition of Edouard Laboulaye’s timeless tale:

The Poodle-Prince

also known as The Spaniel-Prince

The book is available on from £8.47
and in POD with

Vidéo – A nanny reading the fairytale

See also: The first time I read The Poodle-Prince

The Poodle-Prince Cover

The Poodle-Prince Cover

Why read this book?

For entertainment, first and foremost, and then as a philosophical tale.

The author surprises us with his humour and delights dog lovers with a series of canine characters as he reworks a classic scenario featured in stories from the Buddha to Shakespeare’s Henry V: the sovereign who goes among his people to better understand them.

We’ll leave it up to the author to describe his characters. The story takes place in a country whose inhabitants describe themselves as follows:


The Flycatchers are the first people in the world, and are envied by all others ; we are the first-born of civilization, we are a model to all nations ; it is for them to copy us, not for us to walk in the footsteps of those who are behind us. I reject these doubtful gifts—gifts made still more doubtful by the hand that tenders them—and I say, in addition, as a true and loyal Flycatcher, that I would rather share the errors of my own country, than be put right by the foreigner.

Back cover

All went as merrily as possible, until a wretched dog, a poodle, jumped suddenly out of a ditch, causing Jacinth’s horse to shy and fall under him; and, Jacinth, half awake, fell out of bed. It was broad daylight.

Disturbed so cruelly, the young Prince was trying to compose himself again to sleep, when, immediately opposite to him, in a large looking-glass which reached to the ground, he saw his enemy, the poodle. He called out in alarm… but, oh! horror! he barked; he was himself the poodle. This foolish animal, jumping up before the mirror, this was Prince Jacinth, the last and most promising scion of the illustrious house of Tulips!

A prince blessed by the fairies––or not.
His wicked fairy godmother gave him… his brain, brawn and looks. His kind fairy godmother responded by… condemning him to be turned into a poodle! This tragicomedy intertwines the fantastic with satire, in a way that could remind us of Lewis Carroll’s characters in Alice, or Oscar Wilde’s The Canterville Ghost.

Edouard Laboulaye, the author of this timeless tale, is best known as the father of the Statue of Liberty.


An emblem of the poodle-prince’s royal origin, and a motto with many meanings:

A new dual approach to legibility

Page and line legibility

This book has never had the edition it deserves. Until now. Taking a creative approach to typeface, this new edition is both more practical and visually appealing.

Readers benefit from the latest research into the reading process. This edition matches the rhythm of the author’s prose and changes in style, making it more comfortable and pleasurable to read. The typography “sets the scene/text”, as inferred by the author, without revealing too much.

A corrected and improved translation

The first translations
o ignored certain problems which have been addressed in the new edition;
o reduced the number of dog breeds or mixed them up: these have been reintroduced;
o wrongly attempted to translate proper nouns (such as the people neighbouring the Flycatchers) or failed to translate the names of characters which could have been translated (La Douceur becomes Sweetie).

Among the main problems solved — which we shall leave the reader to discover — one in particular deserved a closer look: the neighbouring people of the Gobemouches/Flycatchers is called Cocqsigrues by the author and translated as “Storks” (Cigogne in french).

The author refers to Rabelais in his introduction, in which he places himself in the fable tradition. The word Cocquecigrues appears for the first time in Rabelais’ Gargantua, and has a specific meaning. When Picrochole asks when his kingdom will be returned to him, the answer is, “when the Cocquecigrues come” to mean “never”… which should have been translated in the English version by its equivalent, “when pigs can fly”. In the current version of Gargantua, this word has been translated as Cocklicranes.

Comparing the Gobemouches’ neighbours to “flying pigs” is especially fitting to the extent that it has an element of xenophobia: the foreigner is fantasized rather than studied. The word Wingdpiggem gradually imposed itself as an alternative translation, based on the following association:
“winged pig” + “them” (ie. them against us)

About the book

The book is available on
and in POD with
o Title : The Poodle-Prince
o Cover : Royal motto, emblem of the house of Tulips.
o Height: 17cm; width: 17cm
o Softcover – number of pages: 368
o Language : English
o Collection : Timeless tale
o EAN : 9782370370020 ; ISBN : 978-2-37037-002-0
o Editions STEGGOF
o Legal deposit: July 2013
o Recommended price: €18
Launch price: £8.47 (first 300 copies)

About the author:

Edouard Laboulaye on

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