Wednesday 7 December 2016

Kipling first edition discovered

Published 09/04/2010 | 06:02

Undated file photo of Rudyard Kipling. An inscribed first edition of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book has been discovered
Undated file photo of Rudyard Kipling. An inscribed first edition of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book has been discovered

Librarians have discovered an inscribed first edition of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book at the former home of one of the writer's daughters.

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The book, published in 1894, was found in the library at Wimpole Hall, a stately home near Cambridge owned by the National Trust.

Kipling wrote an inscription to his young daughter, Josephine, who died of pneumonia in 1899 aged six, said trust officials.

The author's second daughter, Elsie, lived at Wimpole between 1938 and 1976. The trust said the book was among a collection of Kipling's works which belonged to Elsie.

A trust spokeswoman said the book was found when librarians were cataloguing the hall's library.

"Kipling dedicated the book to his young daughter, Josephine, when it was published in 1894, but she died of pneumonia five years later at the age of six," said the spokeswoman.

"The inscription, which reads, 'This book belongs to Josephine Kipling, for whom it was written by her father, May 1894', is unsigned but, based on many other items in the Kipling archive, is believed to be his handwriting."

She added: "The book is from a collection of Kipling's works that belonged to his second daughter, Elsie, who lived at her marital home of Wimpole Hall from 1938-1976.

"The book, which is now on display at Wimpole Hall, has only recently come to light following a three-year project to catalogue the extensive library."

Wimpole Hall Curator Fiona Hall added: "This inscription is very touching, especially when you consider that Kipling lost not only Josephine, but also his youngest child, John, who died in the Great War. As Kipling's only remaining child, Elsie would have really treasured this book."

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