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, sewn in with original yellow braided cord tie. Each double leaf has a dark green rule and dot border, the text printed in black with green initial letters. Half title has "IF" printed in green within an ornamental black panel, the same printed onto the front board, but in red, with the addition of the author's name. Small neat California bookseller's paper label on the rear inner board. A very near fine, bright copy in original light brown boards, one of the best copies of this edition I have handled in over 30 years of dealing in rare English literature books. --- Richards' binding variant iii (a). The Publishers note on page 5 appears in four different variants, with priority unknown, and this copy has variant ii. A delightful 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. --- David Alan Richards: Rudyard Kipling. A Bibliography; A244.