KIPLING, Rudyard. The Jungle Book. The Second Jungle Book. With illustrations by J. Lockwood Kipling, C.I.E.


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Two volumes. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc., 1929/1930. Octavo. pp. (1) xiii, [iii], 305 (2) [ix], 324. Title with red and black ruled border. Bound in full crushed brown morocco, covers framed by quadruple gilt fillets with large flower tool in corners. Spine divided into six panels by five gilt raised bands, author and title in gilt direct in the second and fourth, the remainder with gilt ruled border and flower tools at corners; turn-ins gilt; cream endpapers; red and gold endbands. Decorative bookplate of Estelle R. Hunter on pastedowns. Top edge gilt. Some light rubbing to extremities. A very good and attractive set.
Rudyard Kipling (1865, Bombay [now Mumbai] - 1936, London, England), short-story writer, poet, and novelist chiefly remembered for his celebration of British imperialism, his tales and poems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907. In 1892 Kipling married Caroline Balestier, the sister of Wolcott Balestier, an American publisher and writer with whom he had collaborated in ‘The Naulahka’ (1892), a facile and unsuccessful romance. That year the young couple moved to the United States and settled on Mrs. Kipling’s property in Vermont, but their manners and attitudes were considered objectionable by their neighbours. Unable or unwilling to adjust to life in America, the Kiplings returned to England in 1896. Ever after Kipling remained very aware that Americans were “foreigners,” and he extended to them, as to the French, no more than a semi-exemption from his proposition that only “lesser breeds” are born beyond the English Channel.
Besides numerous short-story collections and poetry collections such as ‘The Seven Seas’ (1896), Kipling published his best-known novels in the 1890s and immediately thereafter. His novel ‘The Light That Failed’ (1890) is the story of a painter going blind and spurned by the woman he loves. ‘Captains Courageous’ (1897), in spite of its sense of adventure, is burdened by excessive descriptive writing. Kim (1901), about an Irish orphan in India, is a classic. ‘The Jungle Book’ (1894) and ‘The Second Jungle Book’ (1895) are stylistically superb collections of stories. These books give further proof that Kipling excelled at telling a story but was inconsistent in producing balanced, cohesive novels.


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