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STALKY & CO by  Rudyard Kipling - First Edition - 1899 - from Sumner & Stillman and Biblio.com

STALKY & CO

by Kipling, Rudyard

Condition: See description


1899. [the Publisher to Major Pond] Toronto: George N. Morang & Co., 1899. Original dark green cloth with Viking longboat design in black. First Canadian Edition -- technically, the Canadian issue of the first American edition, which was published in this binding by Doubleday & McClure ten days before Macmillan's UK edition. These nine hilarious tales of school life (of the mischievous Stalky, Beetle and McTurk) are based on Kipling's own days at the United Services College. Included are eight illustrations by L. Raven Hill, which are not in the UK edition. American sheets were bound up with a Morang title leaf, and the binding was altered only to read "MORANG" at the foot of the spine (some Canadian copies were put up in red wrappers). One little oddity of this Canadian edition is that Kipling's prefatory poem here follows the Contents and Illustrations leaves, whereas in the American edition (and in the UK edition), the poem precedes those leaves. This is a bright copy, fine except for very light rubbing at the corners. Richards A144 (note). Provenance: this is an inscribed presentation copy from the publisher to the American literary agent and lecture-tour impresario, ["Major"] James P. Pond. The front free endpaper bears the inked inscription "Mr J. B. Pond With the kind regards of the Publishers Geo N. Morang & Co.", and the opposing paste-down bears Pond's less-than-modest bookplate. Pond was the "major" American literary agent of that era.




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On Aug 3 2011, feeney said:
  "Rudyard Kipling was no Franz Kafka. By contrast with the Prague writer, Kipling's narrative genius did not consist in making up characters whole cloth from a vivid imagination. Kipling's men and boys in KIM, THE JUNGLE BOOKS, MULVANEY STORIES and other narratives were based on living three-dimensional people whom he had met, interacted with or whose real-life stories others had told him. Academic and literary careers have been built on tracing Kipling's "originals." One way to look at Kipling's fiction: there is always a lot more Rudyard in it than you might suspect. *** STALKY & CO (1899) is a hugely successful fictional re-creation of Rudyard Kipling's half dozen years as a boarder at the United Services College on the seacoast of North Devon at Westward Ho! In the novel, Kipling is "Beetle," a disheveled, near-sighted poet, editor of the school newspaper, one of three inseparables which includes Irish aristocrat M'Turk and team leader Stalky. The 1899 edition has nine chapters. Down the years Kipling would write more of their adventures. We focus on Stalky, M'Turk and Beetle in their last two years of school, when they are 15 and 16 years old. *** United Services College was an almost brand new prep school whose students were mainly born abroad of parents serving Queen Victoria's Empire, especially in India and Burma. Most of them were being prepared to become Subalterns in the army. ***The three boys are all destined for eccentric greatness when they grow up. They betray signs of this early on. We readers are shown them as deliberate "outsiders" who go their own way (within limits prescribed by loyalty to the school and to the school's beloved Head -- in real life an old school chum of Kipling's family). *** The three boys are indulged and their good qualities much appreciated by the Head and by the school's congenial Chaplain, while thoroughly disapproved of by the four rigorously traditional Housemasters. Nor are the three entirely approved of by their fellow students. *** A constant theme of STALKY & CO is revenge. If wronged, the three will find an appropriate punishment to fit the crime. Thus M'Turk makes friends with a local Irish landowner and receives permission to wander on his estate. Ostensibly this going off campus violates school rules and a house master trespasses in pursuit of them and is punished by the landowner for his sins. And on and on. *** In a reunion of Old Boys 15 years after graduation, the tale is told of Stalky leading his beloved Sikhs out on the northwest frontier of the Indian Raj. He is besieged by two tribes that normally hate one another. While out on a solitary patrol, Stalky employs on a hostile corpse a form of mutilation characteristic of the other tribe. This was the same carving on a chest after tribesmen had killed Stalky's deputy officer. The ploy saved the besieged. What a book! -OOO-"

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bookplate
Highly sought after by some collectors, a book plate is an inscribed or decorative device that identifies the owner, or former...[more]
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fine
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