Just So Stories For Little Children. Rudyard Kipling, Author and.
Just So Stories For Little Children
Just So Stories For Little Children
Just So Stories For Little Children
Just So Stories For Little Children
Just So Stories For Little Children

Just So Stories For Little Children

London: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1902. First edition, first printing. Hardcover. This is a compellingly lovely example of the first edition, quite scarce thus in near fine condition. The striking, illustrated binding is beautifully preserved – square, clean, and tight with only light wear to extremities. The contents are clean and bright. We find no previous ownership marks. Modest spotting is confined to the endpapers and there is an expert marginal paper repair to page 39/40. This first issue used “Chinese white pigment” (zinc oxide) on its covers, which had a tendency to flake off. Of particular note, the pigment on this copy remains bright and intact. The binding is protected beneath a removable, clear mylar cover. The first edition features 22 full-page plates of illustrations by Kipling himself, including a map printed in red and black, historiated capital letters for chapter openers, and in-text illustrations. It is the only one of his many books that Kipling illustrated himself. Joseph Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) 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 – of which, of course Just So Stories and The Jungle Books are the par excellence examples. Kipling was in his twenties when his stories of Anglo-Indian life made him a literary celebrity, and he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1907 – the first English language author awarded. He remains the youngest person to be awarded the Prize. Born in India and educated in England, Kipling could not afford to attend either Oxford or Cambridge University and instead returned to India to work as a newspaper editor and writer. Kipling, who had written verse since he was young, also began to write short stories, publishing seven volumes of fiction between the years 1888 and 1889, before the age of 24. He returned to England in 1889, later living in the United States and South Africa before finally settling in England. But it was India that gave Kipling his most enduring literary settings and inspiration. Kipling began publishing some of what would become the Just So Stories in English and American periodicals between 1897 and 1902. It was the son of Kipling’s great friend and American publisher, F. N. Doubleday, who spurred the endeavor to grow into an iconic children’s book. Seven-year-old Nelson Doubleday wrote to his father’s friend: “Dear Mr. Kipling: I have been reading your ‘Just So’ stories in St. Nicholas, and I think they are very good. I wish you would write some more stories like those. I want to know ‘How the Elephant Got His Trunk,’ ‘How the Giraffe Got His Rubber Neck’ and ‘How the Kangaroo Got His Long Legs.’ If you write these stories, please send them over to my father, and if they are good enough he will publish them in a book. I hope you will write them and that he will publish them. Yours truly, Nelson Doubleday” Nelson would eventually become president of Doubleday from 1922 to 1946. The title of the book comes from the December 1897 publication of “How the Whale Got His Throat” in St. Nicholas magazine, where it was noted that this type of story “ ‘had to be told just so, without alteration of ‘one single word’” (Richards A181). Though rooted in an Empire sensibility that became archaic even before his death, Kipling’s best tales remain iconic, even elemental examples of the storyteller’s craft. “There has yet been no writer of short stories in English to challenge his achievement, which ranges through space from India to the home counties, and through time from Stone Age man to the contemporary world of football matches and motor cars. These stories, moreover, exhibit every kind of treatment, from the farcical to the tragic, and their structures vary from the simplest anecdote to the most complex and allusive philosophical fiction, dense enough to support endless exegesis and commentary.” (ODNB) Bibliographic reference: Richards A181. Item #003507

Price: $1,550.00

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