London: Macmillan & Co., Limited, 1929. Item #01827
One of 525 Sets
Signed By the Author
In Publisher's Full Morocco Binding
KIPLING, Rudyard. Poems 1886-1929. London: Macmillan & Co., 1929.
First edition, limited to 525 copies signed by the author, this being copy no. 404. Three tall octavo volumes. [4, blank], xviii, 395, [1, blank], [1, colophon], [5, blank]; [4, blank], xxii, 367, [1, colophon], [4, blank]; [4, blank], xxi, [1, blank], 354, [1, colophon], [3, blank] pp., printed on hand-made paper. Title pages printed in black and red. Frontispiece portrait to Volume I.
Publisher's original full crimson polished morocco, raised bands, gilt-lettered compartments, gilt dentelles. (The American edition was issued in cloth). Top edge gilt. Publisher's original printed dust jackets over original glassine wraps. Marbled endpapers. In the publisher's original (lightly scuffed) box with printed title label and set number in autograph. A very fine set. Housed in a quarter morocco solander case.
"Joseph Rudyard Kipling was born December 30, 1865, in Bombay, India, to a British family. When he was five years old, he was taken to England to begin his education, where he suffered deep feelings of abandonment and confusion after a pampered lifestyle as a colonial. He returned to India at the age of seventeen to work as a journalist and editor for the Civil and Military Gazette in Lahore. Kipling published his first collection of verse, Departmental Ditties and Other Verses, in 1886 and his first collection of stories, Plain Tales from the Hills, in 1888.
"In the early 1890s some of his poems were published in William Ernest Henley's National Observer and later collected in to Barrack-Room Ballads (1892), an immensely popular collection which contained 'Gunga Din' and 'Mandalay.' In 1892 Kipling married and moved to Vermont, where he published the two Jungle Books and began work on Kim. He returned to England with his family in 1896 and published another novel, Captains Courageous. Kipling visited South Africa during the Boer War, editing a newspaper there and writing the Just-So Stories. Kim, Kipling's most successful novel (and his last), appeared in 1901. The Kipling family moved to Sussex permanently in 1902, and he devoted the rest of his life to writing poetry and short stories, including his most famous poem, 'If—'. He died on January 18, 1936; his ashes are buried in Westminster Abbey" (Poets Organization).
According to critic Douglas Kerr, "He is still an author who can inspire passionate disagreement and his place in literary and cultural history is far from settled. But as the age of the European empires recedes, he is recognized as an incomparable, if controversial, interpreter of how empire was experienced. That, and an increasing recognition of his extraordinary narrative gifts, make him a force to be reckoned with."
Kipling was, purportedly, offered the post of Poet Laureate of Britain but declined the honor. He did, however, accept the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907.