London: Macmillan and Co., 1894. John Lockwood Kipling. First edition. Hardcover. This is a compelling set of British first editions of perhaps Kipling’s most famous works – the first and second Jungle Books. These copies were previously owned by Churchill’s friends and publishers, Frank and Nelson Doubleday, and apparently used by Nelson to prepare Doubleday’s 1946 editions. Ironically, Kipling’s quintessential tales of India were conceived in Vermont, where Kipling and his father, John Lockwood Kipling (1837-1911) “worked together in the closest harmony… as the two sat smoking their pipes and plotting out fresh stories together.” (Allen, Kipling Sahib, p.328) Here Mowgli was born, the infant found by Father Wolf, saved from Shere Khan, and tutored in the Laws of the Jungle by Bagheera the panther and Baloo the bear. “The pen took charge, and I watched it begin to write stories about Mowgli and the animals, which later grew into the Jungle Books.”
Kipling had left India for the last time in 1891, but “With his father’s guidance he learned to ‘undo what the North has done’ and so let back in all ‘the sights and the sounds and smells / That ran with our youth in the eye of the Sun’ – the flotsam and jetsam of twelve years of Indian living – just long enough to create the celebration of childhood that is The Jungle Book…” (Allen, Kipling Sahib, p. 364) The Jungle Book was published in 1894, seven stories and seven poems with eight of the illustrations by the author’s father. The Second Jungle Book was published in 1895, eight stories and eight poems, this time with thirty-seven illustrations by the author’s father.
Both first editions are bound in matching blue cloth, strikingly illustrated and printed in gilt on the spines and front covers, the contents with dark bluish green endpapers, illustration plates, and all edges trimmed and gilt. The Jungle Book is first printing, with “R. & R. Clark” as printer on p. 212 (as opposed to ‘R. & R. Clark Ltd.’). First English edition of The Second Jungle Book is confirmed by 238 pages of text, ‘The King’s Ankus’ stopping abruptly at line 8, p139, with 515 words missing. (Richards, A76, p.80 and A85, p.87)
These copies came to us from the library of Nelson Doubleday Jr. (1933-2015), son of Nelson Doubleday (1889-1949), and grandson of Frank Nelson Doubleday (1862-1934), Kipling’s friend and U.S. publisher and founder of the Doubleday publishing empire. F.N. Doubleday met Kipling while working for Charles Scribners Sons. They struck an intimate, lifelong friendship. Kipling nicknamed Doubleday "Effendi", a play on his initials - F.N.D. Frank's son Nelson was president of the firm from 1922 to 1946, as was Nelson Jr., from 1978 to 1983.
Each of these first edition volumes bears a small, printed slip of paper on the title page with new publisher information reading, in three lines, "Doubleday & Company, Inc. | Garden City New York | 1946". The slips were pasted over the original publication information (though both have since come loose). Doubleday & Company published an edition of these books in 1946, the last year of Nelson's presidency. The title page of the 1946 edition matches those of these British first editions with the pasted-on slips, making it likely to the point of certainty that these particular volumes were used as mockups by Nelson Doubleday.
Condition is very good minus. The bindings are square and tight with some fraying to spine ends and dulling of spine gilt. The contents remain crisp and complete and the books feel unread. We note all illustrations present, bright page edge gilt, light intermittent spotting (barely noticeable in The Jungle Book), and cosmetic cracking to the endpapers at the gutters that does not impact binding integrity. Additional 1946 edition mock-up notations include title in pencil on The Jungle Book frontispiece recto, pencil strikethrough of “All rights reserved” on both title pages, and brief pencil notation to the upper left front free endpaper verso.
Reference: Richards A76 & A85. Item #004253