KIM. Rudyard Kipling.


London: Macmillan and Co., 1901. 2 pp undated ads. Original red cloth with Ganesha device in gilt.

First English Edition of the book that "is acknowledged as Kipling's masterpiece in fiction... The novel is the finest written about the India of the British Empire" [CGEL]. It follows the adventures of an orphan son of a British soldier who is raised by an Indian woman, becomes a disciple to a Lama, and ultimately becomes an undercover agent as well. The illustrations are by John Lockwood Kipling, the author's father. The American edition is considered to have been published earlier (though in the same month as the English one).

As with most of Kipling's British editions published by Macmillan, the binding is red cloth with in gilt the "Ganesha" device -- an elephant's head with a swastika (the latter had been a ubiquitous symbol in India for millennia; its use ceased in the early 1930s, when events in Germany gave the symbol a whole new meaning).

This is a very good-plus copy with the gilt still bright (foxed endpapers with some cracking at the gutter, very light wear at one corner, foxing of the frontispiece tissue guard which has offset onto the title page; as always there is a little rubbing of the gilt elephant). Richards A174; Stewart 254; Livingston 250. One of the books selected as a "Modern Library 100" for the 20th Century. Item #14936

Price: $525.00

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