Just So Stories
Just So Stories

KIPLING, Rudyard (author and illustrator). Just So Stories.

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KIPLING, Rudyard (author and illustrator). Just So Stories. London; Macmillan And Co., Limited. 1902.

Royal 8vo. Original deep red pictorial cloth; pp. [vi], [1]-249 + [iii]; illustrated throughout in line and silhouette with full-page plates and decorated initials by the author; an uncommonly good copy with some rubbing and bruising to spine ends and light external soiling, internally exceptionally clean, with none of the commonly found foxing, and only the occasional faint sign of handling.
First edition, presented in the second issue binding (which is frequently preferred by the collector), retaining the white blocked detailing to the spine. The first issue binding failed because this blocking did not adhere properly to the cloth and rapidly flaked from its surface.
An interesting copy inscribed by the famous Victorian bibligrapher and antiquarian bookseller Henry Buxton Forman (1842-1917) to Agnes Ferard "from her old friend", and dated 29th July 1903. Buxton Forman is best known as the associate of the famous literary fraudster Thomas J. Wise (1859-1937) which whom he conspired to forge documents and manuscripts of important Georgian and Victorian authors. The pair were eventually exposed in 1934 by Pollard and Carter who produced their evidence in "An Enquiry into the Nature of Certain Nineteenth Century Pamphlets".
This book is an undisputed classic of children's literature. It consists of stories which explain, in amusingly extravagant ways, how the distinguishing physical characteristics of various animals evolved. Kipling himself contributes many witty black-and-white illustrations which include several clever hidden jokes and references; for example many are signed with the monogram of an Ark enclosing a capital A, to be read as Ark A, or R.K., Kipling's initials.