(New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1925-26). 213 x 146 mm. (8 3/8 x 5 3/4"). 26 volumes bound in 14. The "Mandalay Edition."
Recent dark blue highly polished calf, covers with vaguely Art Deco gilt frame, raised bands decorated with stylized silver Greek key rolls, azure morocco labels, marbled endpapers, top edges gilt. Stewart, p. 575. ◆One leaf with two-inch closed tear into text with no loss, isolated mild foxing or other trivial imperfections, but IN VERY FINE CONDITION, the text clean and fresh throughout, and the bindings as new.
The is a pleasing deluxe set of the writings of one of Britain's best-known writers. Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) is most famous for his works portraying the lives of both natives and colonialists on the Indian subcontinent. An opponent of female suffrage and a staunch supporter of British imperialism, Kipling nonetheless had great sympathy for the traditions of India as well as the literary ability and desire to present it as a land of beauty and enchantment. He was born in Bombay, where his father ran a school of art, and he lived in India until the age of six. He was sent to school in England, but chose to return to the East at 18. His father had become director of the Lahore Museum in what is now Pakistan, and Rudyard became a journalist for the "Lahore Civil and Military Gazette." His first two collections of stories, "Plain Tales from the Hills" and "Soldiers Three," depict the lives of the British military in India; he proved to be a prolific author, writing novels, tales for children and adults, and many poems. Kipling's wife was American, and they lived for a time in Vermont, but from 1896 the couple settled in England. Among his many honors are a Nobel Prize (1907) and the Gold Medal of the Royal Society of Literature (1926), which had previously only been awarded to Scott, Meredith, and Hardy. According to Stewart, this edition was "printed from the types of volumes I-XXV of the Seven Seas edition," the deluxe set issued by Doubleday beginning in 1914. An additional volume, not found in the Seven Seas edition, is added here, a collection of biographical essays by various authors entitled "Around the World with Kipling." The recent unsigned bindings, probably American, are at least slightly adventurous in their design, especially in their mixing of gold and silver ornamentation. (They also no doubt cost more to execute than the price we're asking for the set.). (CJI2203)