Macmillan and Co. Limited. London. 1914, 1914.
SECOND SEPARATE ENGLISH EDITION. 8vo. (6.5 x 4.6 inches). A rare bibliographical variant, printed in black on white paper cover plus 4pp rather than than the dark burgundy ink on light grey or brown paper noted in the bibliography (Richards; A269 - note). This copy also varies from Richards A269 with the addition of a portrait frontis of Kipling after an illustration by M. Webb which is printed on stiff dark grey paper. The pages are then bound in a contemporary full burgundy soft suede binding with red, white and blue silk tie to the spine. Front panel lettered in gilt and with blind stamped line ruled border with floral corner pieces. Neat three line inscription to the front free endpaper. Some fraying to the tie-cord but still holding the text pages tightly. A little rubbing to the suede binding and a split to the top inch of the hinge, but overall a lovely presentation of this important work. One of an unknown number that were bound at the time of publication probably by either a bookseller or gift shop to make the thin paper wrappered poem more suitable for presentation as a gift. No copy in this format with this binding and with the portrait has been seen by the author of the most recent and comprehensive Kipling bibliography so this is very likely not a publishers variant, but this is the third copy I have had in this format so it is not a one off bespoke binding. An attractive copy of this rare edition. The first separate English edition of this poem is extremely rare and only known in a handful of copies. ----- 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. A269. Note.