New York: The Century Co., 1897. Original light green cloth decorated in black, orange and gilt.
First Edition, which according to the recent Richards bibliography preceded the London edition by about a month. This is Kipling's great novel about the cod fishing fleet of Gloucester Massachusetts, written while the newlywed Kiplings lived in Vermont. Kipling freely acknowledged that the book owed much to Dr. James Conland of Brattleboro, who brought the Kiplings' elder daughter into the world -- for Conland had been a member of the Massachusetts fishing fleet, and it was he who took Kipling to explore the wharves and quays of Boston and Gloucester. (This American edition, in fact, is dedicated to Conland; the English edition bears no dedication.)
This is the only book of Kipling's which is set entirely in America. All the characters are American. Not only that, but the heart of the book -- its moral in a single sentence -- is one of Kipling's main beliefs of this period expressed in terms essentially American, or perhaps more particularly New England. He put it later in verse: "...If you don't work you will die!" It is a saga of hard physical work in conflict with natural forces. It is a book which could hardly have been written by anyone who did not admire Huckleberry Finn; it is a book whose claim to survival rests mainly on detail, and it is all American detail. [Mason]
This is an attractive copy, just about fine (scarcely any wear or soil; faint shadows on the endpapers). Richards A102; Stewart 164. Item #14810