Home > Oak Knoll Press > An excerpt from Rudyard Kipling, A Bibliography

An excerpt from Rudyard Kipling, A Bibliography

Rudyard Kipling, A Bibliography by Dave Richards doesn’t just include the basic details of each of Kipling’s books. Instead, it provides extensive and specific notes on each of the listings, letting the reader get a true understanding of every book. Take a look at this excerpt from Rudyard Kipling, A Bibliography that contains Richard’s notes on two of Kipling’s titles.


Notes: Of the seven stories and seven poems comprising The Jungle Book, only the stories had previously appeared in periodicals (in 1893 and 1894), and when collected here, each story had an additional verse heading appended.  (All of the poems and all of the verse chapter headings were to be collected in Songs from Books [London, 1913, A265].)  Macmillan continued to publish all subsequent English editions, including the Uniform edition of 1899 and the Library edition of 1950. The imprint changed during the print run of the First English Edition: in the first copies, the printer is ‘R. & R. Clark’, whereas in later printings it is ‘R. & R. Clark Ltd.’, reflecting the English law that whenever a firm becomes limited in liability, it must indicate the change wherever it prints its name. In some copies the blank leaf before the fore-title is lacking. Eight of the illustrations are by the author’s father John Lockwood Kipling. The manuscripts of The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book, including all of the stories and some of the poems in those books, were presented to the British Library by Caroline Kipling in 1940.

The English edition differs from the simultaneously published American edition [A77] in several respects. There is no list of illustrations in the London edition, and the final story is entitled ‘The Servants of the Queen’ (appearing as ‘Her Majesty’s Servants’ in the New York edition). The jungle animals’ names vary: in the English edition, the kite is ‘Chil’, in the American, ‘Rann’; in the English, the porcupine is ‘Sahi’, in the American, ‘Ikki’; the peacock is ‘Mor’ in the English, and ‘Moa’ in the American. The American edition of  ‘“Tiger-Tiger”’ [A77] has seven lines of text (beginning in the third line on p. 128) which are not found in the English edition. Conversely, the English edition contains just over eight lines (beginning with the fourth line on p. 72) which are not found in the American book’s text of this story.

Published on 22 May 1894, The Jungle Book was reprinted twice in 1894 (June and August), twice in 1895, and once each in 1896, 1897, 1898, and 1899. The Preface, omitted in the ‘fifteenth thousand’ issue in 1894, was restored in 1899 in the Uniform edition (red cloth with the Ganesha device on the front cover). In that edition the text was revised, and the revised text was thereupon used for volumes bound in the original 1894 format as well as for volumes in the Uniform edition style.  Omitted from these printings were the frontispiece, the fore-title, and the end leaf of advertisements, while the title of the last story was changed to conform to the American title ‘Her Majesty’s Servants’ and its illustrations were omitted. The Jungle Book was reprinted in the Uniform edition in 1900-03, 1905, 1906, 1908, 1910, 1911, 1913, 1915, 1917, 1918, 1920, 1922, 1924, 1929, 1932, 1937, 1943-44, and 1947; the types were reset for the Library edition in 1950 [D26]. In 1934, Mrs. Rudyard Kipling loaned for display at the Second Sunday Times’ Book Exhibition twenty foreign language editions of The Jungle Books, in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Danish, Dutch, Russian, Polish, Czech, Serbian, and Slovak.

Ballard writes that this was the first of Kipling’s books to be issued with a dustjacket, and he owned one with a wrapper of “plain paraffine paper” [B98, p. 113 and Ballard 1942 107].  The question is not free from doubt: in Livingston’s extensive correspondence with Kipling’s literary agent A. S. Watt on this point (now at Houghton Harvard), publisher (later Prime Minister) Harold Macmillan is quoted as saying that his firm had no records of a dustjacket, although one employee claimed to remember one (Watt to Livingston, 20 July 1937); Percy Hodder Williams of Hodder & Stoughton, on the other hand, advised Watt that “publishers never used a jacket in the days of the first ‘Jungle Book’” and that instead the books came in “packed between ‘binders’ boards’, just as they were pressed after leaving the binders’ hands” (Watt to Livingston, 31 July 1937).  However, the copy of Dickens bibliographer John Eckel [Eckel 1935 256, NYPL Berg] has an “original glazed tissue dustjacket” (presumably like the Ballard copy’s), with Eckel’s personal note attesting to his belief in its authenticity, and saying that he had seen a second copy with the same wrapper; the Marsden Perry copy [Perry 1936 307] was similarly jacketed, so while these are the only three copies on record with such dustjackets, it seems probable that Macmillan indeed employed them to protect the elaborate gilt ornamentation on the spine and front board of the First English Edition. In and after 1895 a pictorial dustjacket was employed bearing illustrations from the book, to complement the similar bluish gray paper dustjacket lettered and illustrated in dark blue used for The Second Jungle Book published that same year.


Notes: Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts, had invited Kipling to the ‘Posse of Welcome’ of Cub Scouts staged to greet the Prince of Wales on his return from a world tour on 7 October 1922, and by June 1923 the author was reviewing his scrapbook for material that might be suitable for a book of stories for Scouts. Whether Kipling’s appointment that year as Scout Commissioner (noted on the title-page) inspired him to compile the book, or advance news of his book induced Baden-Powell to make the appointment, cannot at present be guessed, according to Hugh Brogan’s Mowgli’s Sons: Kipling and Baden-Powell’s Scouts [1987, Bl113], p. 53. Appearing in good time for the Christmas trade, the book was priced at 4s, deliberately low to allow wide circulation among (boy) Scouts and (girl) Guides.

The eleven stories and eight poems comprising this collection were composed between 1898 and 1923. One story (‘His Gift ’) and seven poems are published here for the very first time, and the other poem (‘The Nurses’) and four of the stories (‘The Way That He Took’, ‘A Flight of Fact’, ‘A Parable of Boy Jones’, and ‘“Stalky”’) had previously appeared only in periodicals; the author also provides a linking commentary in the form of prefatory paragraphs before seven of the stories, to bring out their special significance for scouting and its principles. The remaining six stories had already appeared in book form, although for this edition he revised the 1897 article ‘Winning the Victoria Cross’, to bring it up to date, and this is the first entire reprinting of ‘An English School’, which had appeared in Youth’s Companion for 18 October 1893 and previously been collected in shortened form in The Boyhood of Famous Authors [1897, B21]. (‘“Stalky”’, written in 1898, was omitted from Stalky & Co. [1899, A144], but was to be included in The Complete Stalky & Co. [1929, A381]). This title appeared in Macmillan’s Uniform Edition in 1925 with twelve full-page illustrations by H. R. Millar (Stewart 507), and in a simultaneously published Pocket Edition. Volume XVI of the Sussex Edition, entitled Land and Sea Tales and Thy Servant a Dog, included for the first time in book form in England the story ‘A Tabu Tale’, a Just So Story which had appeared originally in the September 1903 Windsor Magazine, and had been previously collected in the United States in Volume XX of the Outward Bound edition [1903, A189].

A copy is known with a tipped-in letter dated 15 November 1923 from publisher Harold Macmillan (later Great Britain’s Prime Minister) to printer Edward Clark of R. & R. Clark, Limited, declaring that the “production of this book must be almost a record”, and noting that he had written on the flyleaf of the enclosed copy “the remarkable history of its manufacture.” Those notes comprising the presentation inscription read:  “[‘Copy’ sent to printer Oct 22nd | Early copies sent off  by printer Oct 30th | Final sheets (35,000) sent off  by printer Nov 7th.] | Edward Clark. | Nov. 1923. | from the grateful publishers.” (The Macmillan Archive in the British Library states that 35,500 copies were printed.) The Grolier Catalogue entry for this book says that the official publication date was 23 November, but that copies were actually sold on November 7; the evidence of Macmillan’s notes makes that unlikely, but on the same evidence bound copies were clearly available on 15 November. The book was reprinted twice in November 1923 (42,000 copies) and twice again in December (42,500 copies).

Click here for more information on Rudyard Kipling, A Bibliography.

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: