Rogue Reynard

~ A Novel by Andre Norton


 ~~Being a tale of the fortunes and misfortunes and divers misdeeds of that great villain, Baron Reynard, the Fox, and how he was served with King Lion’s justice. ~~


Synopsis ~

Write-up from the front flap of the dustjacket ~

Here appears that famous blackguard of the animal kingdom, Sir Fox, and the many clever crimes he committed against his fellow creatures. So utterly wicked was he that King Lion, who ruled the Great Forest, called him into court to be judged and punished. Instead of obeying, Reynard was so clever that he fooled the court messenger, Bruin the Bear, into springing a trap on himself. Whereupon Sir Fox scampered off to tell the hunters that they had caught a fine, fat bear – what villainy!
This is only one of Reynard’s tricks which have delighted children for centuries. His classic story, so ably told, is here presented in a striking new format with pictures which will delight young readers and make them want to own Sir Fox and read of his roguery again and again.


Write-up from the rear of 1972 Tradepaper ~

Reynard the Fox was not like other forest dwellers. He had a reputation for the treachery which grew year by year until finally King Lion decreed that Raymond must be judged for his crimes. But which of the animals would bring him to justice? Not only was the fox wicked, but he was exceedingly cunning. One by one, the king's messengers fall into tricks and traps in a classic fable which has delighted readers for centuries.

"Wicked a Reynard was, he possessed that quality which endears the sinner to us even as we condemn him. This is an important edition of a story that will never lose its fascination.”  - Saturday Review

"The stories are artfully bound together, retold in a prose which has just enough of the archaic to give it the proper flavor, and Laura Bannon's drawings though essentially modern suggest the vigor, richness, and humor of the Middle Ages.” - The New York Times

Andre Norton is well known for her imaginative works of fantasy and science fiction. Some of her better-known books are Star Man's Son, Time Traders, Fur Magic, Octagon Magic, and Steel Magic. Born in Cleveland where she lived many years, she now lives in Maitland, Florida.


Write-ups from fans ~

Baron Reynard the Fox refuses the summons of King Lion to the annual Court of Justice because he knows there are many who will speak against him.  King Lion sends many of his Knights to fetch Reynard, but none succeed, with Reynard besting them and thwarting every plan.  Finally Squire Hound begs permission to seek out the fox and bring him back to face the King's Justice.  Baron Reynard tells the King to go ahead and hang him, but to remember that in years to come, there will be others of the Court to speak against the execution.  So, the King realizes that the shame of being captured by a lowly Squire will trouble Reynard the rest of his life, so he banishes him from the kingdom instead, and sets the House above that of Fox for ever after.  This book is Andre Norton's version, written in an old-fashioned courtly form, of a children's fairy tale.  Illustrated (and very well) by Laura Bann. ~ SL


Based on old French beast tales, this is the story of the wickedness of Baron Renard the fox and King Lion's quest for justice. At the annual Fall Court, King Lion would listen to petitions from the other animals. This year, Baron Reynard refused to go to Court where he would surely be charged with numerous crimes. Two animals stepped up and told the Court of the heinous deeds of Reynard. The King sent out the Earl Marshal, Bruin Bear to fetch the Fox to face justice. But Reynard tricked the Bear who was badly beaten. Then Duke Tybalt the Cat set out to bring Reynard to justice and like the bear, the Cat was fooled and barely escaped with his life. The Weasel convinces Reynard to go to Court humbly and begging forgiveness. This scheme works so well that, instead of the death penalty, the King banishes him and his family from the forest for one year. The Ram and the Hare are assigned to escort Reynard to the border, but he kills the Hare and bamboozles the Sheep and sneaks back to his manor. The furious King sends out a troop to capture Reynard. The fox and his family are banished forever on the pain of Death. A quick read, archaic language and fun illustrations. ~ PG


Reviews ~

Kirkus Reviews ~ Issue: June 1st, 1947
The subtitle gives the one: - "Being a tale of the fortunes and misfortunes and divers misdeeds of that great Villain, Baren Reynard, the Fax, and how he was served with King justice. Based upon the Beast Sage." -- Possibly there is some demand for this sort of classic of medieval folklore, but, frankly, I doubt the spontaneity of the response on the part of children, and the deliberately sustained archaisms I found very trying. It is conceivable that the Laura Banmon illustrations, not as yet available, will justify the book on the ground of unity of conception and presentation. On the basis of galley proofs alone, the market would seem very limited. 


Various reviews ~ For more info and other listings see Articles Over the Years

1947 by Ellen Lewis Buell in New York Times, July 13
1947 by Phyllis Whitney in Cleveland News, July 26
2021 by Judith Tarr


Dedications and Acknowledgements ~

To My
Mother and Father
and to Phyllis
who fostered my acquaintance with
Rogue Reynard


Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (1947) Published by Houghton, HC, LCCN 47003707, $2.50, 96pg ~ cover and illustrated by Laura Bannon {Brown Cloth Boards, Green Pictorial End Papers}
  • (1947) Published by Thomas Allen, HC, 96pg ~ Canadian printing ~ cover and illustrated by Laura Bannon
  • (1972) Published by Dell Yearling, TP, $0.65, 96pgs. ~ cover and illustrated by Laura Bannon

Interior Illustrations;



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