‘The Jungle Books’ by Rudyard Kipling


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Hardback cloth bound book in good condition with good dust jacket
Published by the Reprint Society in 1955
Packed weight 587gm
UK shipping by First Class Post
Overseas shipping by Airmail

‘The Jungle Books’ by Rudyard Kipling

This illustrated edition by The Reprint Society by arrangement with MacMillan & co. Ltd. 1955, includes both ‘The Jungle Book’ and ‘The Second Jungle Book’.

The book cover and 69 black and white illustrations are by Stuart Tresilian.  ‘The Jungle Book’ was first published in 1894.  ‘The Second Jungle Book’ was first published in 1895.

On the front inside flap of the dust jacket is a review for the ‘Broadsheet’ by Ernest H Shepherd.

‘There is a magic in the telling of these stories, magic too in these animals, whether of the jungle or of the far north, who understand things better than do we men.  Kipling must have spent a long time studying their habits.  He would have heard stories told by the shikaris; he would have watched the elephants and noted the behaviour of the mahouts, as he lay on his back on the trail of the guns down in the lines.  In a friend’s bungalow, perhaps, he might have heard about the cobra in the bathroom and been shown the place where iot was killed.  Perhaps Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, the mongoose, came and sat on his shoulder and shared his breakfast.’ 

On the back inside flap of the dust jacket is some information from Somerset Maughan’s ‘Choice of Kipling’s Prose’, about Rudyard Kipling and the books.

‘In the summer of 1892 Kipling settled down in Vermont where his wife’s family had been long established.

    During the next four years he wrote a number of stories, many of which were o a quality which only he could reach.  It was then that he wrote ‘In the Rukh’, in which Mowgli makes his first appearance.  It was a propitious inspiration, for from it sparng the two ‘Jungle Books’ in which, to my mind, his great and varied gifts found their most brilliant expression.  They show his wonderful talent for telling a story, they have a delicate humour and they are romantic and plausible.

    The device of making animals talk is as old as Aesop’s fables, and for all I know, much older, and La Fontaine, as we know, employed it with charm and wit, but I think no one has performed the difficult feat of persuadinf the reader that it is as natural for animals to speak as for human beings more triumphantly than Kipling has done in ‘The Jungle Books.’ 

Little Knoll Press editor’s comment            If you have read ‘Cor Blimey! Where ‘ave you come from?’ you will find much in Kipling’s ‘The Jungle Books’ that relates to the India experiences of the Tovey family – the animal stories, the atmosphere of the jungle and the Keddah (where wild elephants are rounded up and captured to be tamed for work). 

Kipling wrote ‘The Jungle Books’ during the years that he lived in Vermont, in the far northern corner of the United States.  During the dark winter days, with snow piled high above the windowsills, Kipling brought the magic of the Indian jungle and the adventures of a naked wild boy to the page.

Among the Indian tales are two stories ‘The White Seal’ and ‘Quiquern’, inspired by his time in Canada.

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