New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1896. 6 pp undated ads. Original coarse mottled light-brown buckram cloth decorated in gilt, with dust jacket.
First (American) Edition, published on 30 October 1896, the same day as Methuen's English edition. This volume of verse includes two of Kipling's better-known poems, "A Song of the English" and "Hymn before Action." The handsome Art Nouveau binding design is initialed "EMD" (who is unidentified, though it has been speculated -- by the Met -- that she may have been Evangeline Danielle).
This copy is in coarse light brown buckram -- which is not one of the three cloth colors (orange, olive, slate) or textures recorded by bibliographers -- though it does have the standard gilt design. The volume is in fine condition; also present is about 80% of the original 1896 dust jacket, which reproduces the same elaborate design on front cover and spine. Richards A92; Livingston 131; Stewart 139.
Tipped to the title page is a presentation note signed by Kipling, "J. Conland | from | Rudyard Kipling | Oct. 96". In 1892 Kipling had married Carrie Balestier of Brattleboro Vermont, sister of Wolcott who, after helping Rudyard work with the 1891 International Copyright Act, collaborated with him in writing the novel THE NAULAHKA; due to Rudyard's poor health and the failure of his UK bank the couple settled in Vermont, where they lived for five years (in a home they named "Naulakha" -- spelled a little differently). These five years were some of Kipling's most prolific, with the publication of both JUNGLE BOOKs and CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS. Dr. James Conland, of Brattleboro, brought the Kiplings' elder daughter Josephine into the world; furthermore, Conland had been a member of the Cape Cod fishing fleet, and it was he who took Kipling to explore the wharves and quays of Boston and Gloucester, which resulted in Kipling's 1897 novel CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS -- of which the American edition would be dedicated to Conland. (Sadly, in 1897 the Kiplings fled Vermont -- and returned to England -- after a violent argument with Carrie's family; in 1899 Carrie persuaded Rudyard to journey to New York so she could see her family, on which journey the Kipling family all fell ill with pneumonia, resulting in the death -- at age six -- of little Josephine; this prompted Rudyard to vow never to return to America.) We have no idea whether this signed presentation slip of paper actually accompanied this copy to Conland: on the one hand, why didn't Kipling simply write on a page in the book? -- but on the other hand, he may have mailed the slip to Conland while instructing the publisher to send the book directly to Conland. In any case, this copy is in an unrecorded publisher's binding, and the presentation slip does bear the exact month of the book's publication. Item #14479