With Illustrations by F.H. Townsend. London: Macmillan and Co., 1905. Original white cloth with gilt vignette, with dust jacket.
First Separate Edition (having first appeared, unillustrated, in TRAFFICS AND DISCOVERIES the year before). This is
an allegory of a limbo of lost children tended by a blind woman, children who are not yet ready for Heaven and come back for a space to inhabit earth... The agony of the past, the yearning for Josephine [Kipling's daughter, who had died of pneumonia at the age of seven in 1899], the grief for all dead children are to be found in THEY. [Birkenhead]
'THEY' is printed on the recto only of each leaf, and is beautifully illustrated with 15 Townsend color plates.
This copy is of the second issue, with the printer's name "Bemrose & Sons Ltd." on p. 80. It is in fine condition, with scarcely any of the cover soil typical for this white cloth; this is largely due to the presence of the very scarce dust jacket (likewise second state -- WITH the Macmillan logo on the front panel, and with different ads on the rear panel). The jacket is very good, with a bit of loss at the spine ends (affecting only the price at the very foot). Richards A203; Stewart 303. Item #14807