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Monsieur Cadichon: Memoirs of a Donkey by…
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Monsieur Cadichon: Memoirs of a Donkey

by Comtesse de Ségur

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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19th century French literature for children. Similar to Les Malheurs de Sophie in that these "memoirs" are comprised of a series of morally instructive lessons in the guise of amusing anecdotes. In this case, the protagonist whose character needs building is a donkey of unique abilities and personality named Cadichon. Memoires d'un Ane is constructed as a continuous story in contrast to the more or less unrelated episodes of Les Malheurs de Sophie. I found the book, despite the pedagogic intent of the author, to be quite delightful. Once again I am struck by the differences between the lives of privileged 19th century French children and those of most contemporary American children. The former seem to have had much more freedom of both physical movement & ethical decision-making as they functioned within both a society of their peers (numerous cousins and siblings gathered together at a benevolent grandmother's country estate) as well as a larger society that included parents, aunts & uncles and innumerable employees of the houses and fields. On the final page, Mme de Segur sums up the lessons that the reader should learn from her tale: If you want to be well served, you must treat those who serve you well; those whom you think are stupid or foolish are never so stupid or foolish as you think; and a donkey has, like everyone else, a heart that enables him to love as well as to suffer from mistreatment and a will with which to exact revenge or demonstrate affection. Even a poor donkey can be, depending on how he is treated, either happy or unhappy, friend or enemy. ( )
  Paulagraph | May 25, 2014 |
This book is really good, although sometimes really sad. I would recommend this book to children that are 10 and up. I also would recommend this book to adults. This is an inspiring story. Full of hopefulness and sorrow. ( )
  PuffyBear | May 22, 2010 |
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Comtesse de Ségurprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brock, Emma L.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dole, Charles F.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Loiseaux, Louis AugusteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
P.S.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smee, StephanieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sturge, SimonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Welsh, CharlesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Willard, J.H.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
Monsieur Cadichon is a lively and intelligent donkey who wants his readers to know that although he was naughty in his youth and was punished severely, he is now reformed. His main aim is to refute the stereotypical image of donkeys as ignorant and stubborn and reveal, through his stories, the true, gentle and wise nature of donkeys. Cadichon's antics are guaranteed to make you laugh! Cadichon can also be vengeful when overworked and underfed. His retaliations and plans for revenge will have readers shaking their heads in disapproval but ultimately, as Cadichon encounters love and acceptance through his adventures, we come to admire his bravery and loyalty.

Originally published in French as Mémoires d'un âne, and variously translated into English as The Adventures of a Donkey, The Story of a Donkey, The Wise Little Donkey, and most recently, as Monsieur Cadichon: Memoirs Of a Donkey.

The 1880 English translation, The Adventures of a Donkey, is available online at The Hathi Trust:
https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/...

It is also available at The Internet Archive:
https://archive.org/details/adventures...

The 1903 English translation, The Story of a Donkey (published by The Henry Altemus Company) is available online at The Internet Archive:
https://archive.org/details/storyadonk...

The 1904 abridged English translation, The Story of a Donkey (published by D.C. Heath) is available online at The Hathi Trust:
https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/...

It is also available at The Internet Archive:
https://archive.org/details/cu31924014...
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Monsieur Cadichon is no ordinary donkey. Follow his hilarious adventures as he travels the French countryside getting up to all sorts of mischief.

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