Lot 4002: 3V Rudyard Kipling POEMS 1886-1929 1930 Author-Signed Limited First American Edition Antique Vellum Binding In Scarce Dust Jackets
January 27, 2013
Freeville, NY, USALive Auction
Title: Poems, 1886-1929
Author: Rudyard Kipling - Joseph Rudyard Kipling was an English poet, short-story writer, and novelist chiefly remembered for his celebration of British imperialism, tales and poems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children. Kipling received the 1907 Nobel Prize for Literature. He was born in Bombay, in the Bombay Presidency of British India, and was taken by his family to England when he was five years old. Kipling is best known for his works of fiction, including "The Jungle Book" (a collection of stories which includes "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi"), "Just So Stories" (1902) (1894), "Kim" (1901) (a tale of adventure), many short stories, including "The Man Who Would Be King" (1888); and his poems, including "Mandalay" (1890), "Gunga Din" (1890), "The White Man's Burden" (1899) and "If-" (1910). He is regarded as a major "innovator in the art of the short story"; his children's books are enduring classics of children's literature; and his best works are said to exhibit "a versatile and luminous narrative gift."
Kipling was one of the most popular writers in England, in both prose and verse, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Henry James said: "Kipling strikes me personally as the most complete man of genius (as distinct from fine intelligence) that I have ever known." In 1907 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, making him the first English-language writer to receive the prize, and to date he remains its youngest recipient. Among other honours, he was sounded out for the British Poet Laureateship and on several occasions for a knighthood, all of which he declined.
Kipling's subsequent reputation has changed according to the political and social climate of the age and the resulting contrasting views about him continued for much of the 20th century. George Orwell called him a "prophet of British imperialism." Literary critic Douglas Kerr wrote: "He [Kipling] is still an author who can inspire passionate disagreement and his place in literary and cultural history is far from settled. But as the age of the European empires recedes, he is recognised as an incomparable, if controversial, interpreter of how empire was experienced. That, and an increasing recognition of his extraordinary narrative gifts, make him a force to be reckoned with."
Publisher: Doubleday, Doran and Co., Inc.
City: Garden City, New York
Printing Information: Signed Edition
Binding Style: Hardcover
Number of Volumes: 3 Complete: Yes
Width: 8.25" Height: 11"
Condition / Notes: This is a scarce limited first edition signed and numbered by Rudyard Kipling. This is copy number 157 of 537. Author's signature appears on limitation page of first volume.
Antique set is bound in full Japanese vellum, with gilt-lettered spine labels and paper red ruling to front and rear covers. Stamped pictorial design in circle depicting elephant head and swastika appears on front covers. Water markings appear on spine of first volume. Varying degrees of darkening can be seen along bottom edges of front covers of all three volumes. Bindings are tight. Light foxing can be seen at front and back of volumes. Tissue guard of frontispiece facsimile of poem in first volume is heavily foxed. Pages with top gilt edges are otherwise clean and bright.
Intact dust jackets are preserved in mylar. Second volume has large closed tear to lower margin of front panel, with small tears along bottom edge. Other jackets also display small tears along edges.
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