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RUDYARD KIPLING: The Books I Leave Behind
Bibliophile price: £6.00
Born to expatriates in India in 1865, Rudyard Kipling returned to England for his prep school education, became a journalist in what is now Pakistan, and married an American in London. After being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907, in part for work examining the lives of soldiers who defended the Empire's borders and civil servants who bore 'the white man's burden', he lost his only son on the Western Front in 1915, and died in 1936 fearing that 'the Hun' would come again bearing arms. His publishing career extended over 63 years from 1881 to 1944 and over 4,000 separate printings of his work exist. In consequence a comprehensive Kipling collection in any single institutional library is rare and the first and variant editions, manuscripts and letters, magazines, newspapers and sheet music gathered here were assembled in the old ways, through bookseller's catalogues and public auctions in the USA and Great Britain and by new methods via the Internet. Yale University gave a permanent home to this celebration of the books Rudyard Kipling left behind. What we have is a splendid hardback companion catalogue to the monumental exhibition of his works held at the Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscript Library which in 2007 celebrated the achievement of this writer equally adept at humour writing, tales for children and adventures. More than 200 items on display create a timeline of Kipling's best-loved works and there are many examples of extremely rare or little-known pieces. There are posters, handwritten letters reproduced, the Order of Service at Westminster Abbey for his burial, handwritten presentation copies some with poems written out, his personal bookplate designed by his father Lockwood Kipling and dozens of examples from US first editions such as Steam Tactics priced ten cents. With great detail on his engagement against 'pirates' who print copies of works without permission, his speeches on behalf of cultural and political causes in which he believed to professional guilds or groups at their dinners and an elegy on grieving for the dead, his poem London Stone which first appeared in The Times in November 1923. Superbly well illustrated, colour, 144 huge pages in rare Yale University Press first edition.

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