Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Doran & Co., Ltd., 1935. First edition. Hardcover. This first and limited edition collects two letters written by Kipling to his American publishers, Frank Nelson Doubleday and his son Nelson Doubleday. The first letter was written to Nelson, and used as the Foreword to A Kipling Pageant in 1935. The second letter was written to Frank, and used as the Introduction to the Outward Bound Edition of Kipling's works, published by Scribner’s in 1897, and arranged through the efforts of Frank Doubleday. The edition was limited to 950 copies, each bound in marbled paper-covered boards with gilt-stamped, black cloth spine, the volume housed in a notched, red cardboard slipcase.
This near-fine, unread copy retains the original slipcase, which is damaged and worn. The binding is square and tight with sharp corners and bright spine gilt. Neither the boards nor cloth spine show any appreciable wear. The signatures remain uncut, so the copy is demonstrably unread. There are no previous ownership marks. What prevents our grading this volume as fine is spotting, moderate to the first and final few leaves, and thereafter primarily confined to the untrimmed fore edges. The accompanying slipcase has done its job protecting the book and remains in one piece, but shows definite wear, with some loss to the top and bottom edges to a maximum depth of one inch. Most of the seams show wear, with the beginnings of splits evident in places.
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 Scribner’s Sons. His 18-year career with Scribner’s included the task of assembling a complete set of Kipling's works for publication in a collected edition in 1897 (the aforementioned Outward Bound Edition). 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.
Iconic English poet, short-story writer, and novelist Joseph Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) is 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. Kipling remains the youngest person to receive the Prize and was also the first English language author awarded.
Reference: Richards A428. Item #004250