Decorated by J. Lockwood Kipling, C.I.E. [Together, two volumes.] New York: The Century Co., 1894/1895. Original olive green cloth decorated in gilt / salmon cloth decorated in orange.
First (American) Edition of THE JUNGLE BOOK (published on the same day as the London edition), and First Edition of THE SECOND JUNGLE BOOK (published three days before the London edition). Many of the illustrations are by John Lockwood Kipling, Rudyard's father. These books, along with JUST SO STORIES and KIM, constitute Kipling's best-loved work:
For there is a unique magic in the JUNGLE BOOKs from the moment the infant Mowgli enters the wolf's lair, and the moonlight is blacked out at the mouth of the cave by the great head of the tiger Shere Khan, and his roar fills it with thunder. There is magic too in the jungle, so glowingly portrayed, with its danger-haunted thickets, and the monkeys threading its frail liana ways, the enchanted land of which Mowgli is to become the master; and in the animals who are his friends and mentors -- Bagheera, the sleek and terrible panther; Baloo, the wise old bear; Hathi, the elephant; Kaa, the gigantic python who makes a nest for Mowgli in his coils; Akela, the leader of the wolf-pack; and the bandarlog, chattering outcasts of the tree tops, whose only wish is to be noticed, and who immediately abandon every task they have begun. [Birkenhead]
THE JUNGLE BOOK is fine except that the volume is slightly aslant; THE SECOND JUNGLE BOOK is near-fine, similarly slightly aslant, with a trace of wear at the extremities and a "wited-out" signature on the front endpaper. We seldom see both volumes together in any better condition. Richards A77 & A84; Stewart 124 & 134. Item #15238