"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), original light yellowish brown paper boards, eight double leaves unopened at top edge.
First separate edition (preceding the 1914 first separate English edition) of Kipling's verse celebration of Victorian stoicism, in publisher's scarce original boards.
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. Precedes the first separate English edition, which did not appear until 1914. Publisher's note on page 5 appears in four different variants—priority unknown—this copy with Richards' variant ii; binding variant iii(a). Printed in black and green; copies also seen printed in black and red. Richards A244. Neat four-line ink gift inscription, dated 1916.
Very small and faint dampstain to lower corner of first few and last few leaves. An excellent, about-fine copy.