Doubleday, Page and Company. New York. 1910.
FIRST SEPARATE EDITION (U. S). Precedes the first U.K separate edition by 4 years. Oblong 8vo. (4.4 x 6.4 inches). 8 double leaves, uncut at the top. Each double leaf has a bright red rule and dot border, the text printed in black with red initial letters. Half title has "IF" printed in red within an ornamental black panel, the same printed onto the front board, but with the addition of the author's name, printed in black. This version with the red colour printing is Richards' variant b. The pages sewn in with a tied white braided cord. Overall a very clean and bright copy in original light brown boards (Richards - binding variant iii), which has benefited from some discreet and expert repair to the spine. Front board has a small red mark and there is some rubbing and bumping to the edges but overall this is very good. ------ The Publishers note on page 5 appears in four different variants, with priority unknown, and this copy has variant iv. ------ An attractive copy of this uncommon little book. Published (probably November 1910) very shortly after the Poem first appeared in the book Rewards and Fairies (October 1910), this separate publication was issued to capitalise on the huge, and instant, popularity of what has become Kipling's most enduring work of verse. A poll taken by the BBC in the UK in 2005 voted it as Britain's favourite Poem, poling twice as many votes as the number 2 choice, Lord Tennyson's The Lady of Shallot. Originally written in 1895, IF was inspired by the actions of Dr. Leander Starr Jameson, a British Officer whose forces were defeated by the Boers in 1895, but who was portrayed as a victorious hero by the British press, the poem is a powerful masterclass in maintaining the British stiff upper lip. . Richards, A244.