"IF YOU CAN KEEP YOUR HEAD WHEN ALL ABOUT YOU…": FIRST SEPARATE EDITION OF KIPLING'S "IF"
KIPLING, Rudyard. If. New York: Doubleday Page, (1910). Oblong 12mo (6-1/2 by 4-1/2 inches), publisher's full green morocco gilt, eight double leaves uncut at top edge.
First separate edition of Kipling's verse celebration of Victorian stoicism, in publisher's scarce deluxe morocco binding.
Dr. Leander Starr Jameson visited Rudyard Kipling and his family in the fall of 1909. "After a shaky start as leader of failed military raid in 1895 Jameson had gone on to become one of the most respected South African prime ministers. Young John Kipling was very impressed by his father's heroic friend. His son's reaction and his own respect for Jameson were in his mind as Kipling penned the words to his famous poem, If" (Dalhousie University). First published in Rewards and Fairies (1910), the poem, in Kipling's words, "escaped from the book, and for a while ran about the world." As late as 1995 and then again in 2005, a national BBC Television poll found "If " to be Britain's favorite poem. Publisher's note on page 5 appears in four different variants—priority unknown—this copy with Richards' variant iii. Precedes the first separate English edition, which did not appear until 1914. Printed in black and green; copies also seen printed in black and red. Richards A244.
Text block expertly reinforced; publisher's morocco in excellent, about-fine condition, gilt bright. A lovely and desirable copy.