Captains Courageous. Rudyard Kipling.
Captains Courageous
Captains Courageous
Captains Courageous
Captains Courageous

Captains Courageous

London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 1897. First edition. Hardcover. This is the British first edition, noteworthy for both for interesting provenance and for retaining the illustrated front face of the original dust jacket. Kipling tells the story of the spoiled fifteen-year-old son of a millionaire who is lost at sea and finds himself rescued by the crew of a fishing schooner, which proves to be a redemption of both character and body. From an original 1897 review: “A big, soft-armed wave picks the boy from the deck of an ocean steamer, and drops him into a dory which happens with fairy-tale appropriateness to come by, and this convenient conveyance delivers him over to a crew of stern-faced, laconic fishermen, who knock the nonsense out of him and put him in the way of learning the two lessons that in Mr. Kipling's eyes make up the chief duty of man—to work and not to be afraid.” This British first edition is a handsome production, featuring gilt-stamped blue cloth illustrated on both the front cover and spine, black endpapers, gilt page edges, and 22 full-page illustrations by I. W. Taber within. This copy is in very good condition. The blue cloth binding is tight with modest wear to spine ends and corners, light scuffing to the blank rear cover, and a slight forward lean. The spine gilt is mildly dulled, still distinct but no longer vibrant. The contents remain respectably bright, though we do note intermittent spotting throughout. The original black endpapers are intact, as are all illustrations, including the frontispiece and tissue guard. The quite rare original dust jacket was illustrated and lettered in dark blue on light bluish gray paper and featured two front face vignettes – of a dory being rowed on the lower half and of said dory delivering mail to a schooner on the upper half. The illustrated front face of the dust jacket is preserved with this copy, tipped onto the front free endpaper verso. A tiny Pall Mall bookseller’s sticker is affixed to the upper front pastedown. This book came to us from the library of Nelson Doubleday Jr., son of Nelson Doubleday, and grandson of Frank Nelson Doubleday, Kipling’s friend and U.S. publisher and founder of the Doubleday publishing empire. F.N. Doubleday began work in the publishing industry working for Charles Scribners Sons. His 18-year career with Scribners included the task of assembling a complete set of Kipling's works for publication in a collected edition in 1897. His work with Kipling on this endeavor sparked a friendship and partnership that lasted for decades. Kipling affectionately gave Doubleday the nickname "Effendi", a play on the initials of his name - F.N.D. Frank's son Nelson was president of the firm from 1922 to 1946, as was Nelson Jr., from 1978 to 1983. 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.  Despite this reputation, Kipling’s extraordinary body of work “eludes all labels in its range and variety… Kipling's work is not only of the highest artistic excellence, it is deeply humane and fully expresses the sense of one of his favourite texts: ‘Praised be Allah for the diversity of his creatures.’” (ODNB)  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.  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, which proved formative.  He returned to England in 1889, later living in the United States and South Africa before finally settling in England. Owing mostly to ill health, Kipling's production of original work diminished in the years between the end of the First World War and his death. Bibliographic Reference: Richards A103. Item #004202

Price: $500.00

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