‘From Sea to Sea’ two volumes, 1899 edition


If you thought that this blog was called The Kipling Project because it made me feel like some sort of covert operative, you were wrong. I wouldn’t blow my cover so easily.

The fact of the matter, is that a collection of Rudyard Kipling’s work inspired this entire venture. “From Sea to Sea; Letters of Travel,” collects the author’s articles from his 1889 travels through India, Burma, China, Japan and the United States. In the collection’s preface, Kipling writes, “In these two volumes I have got together the bulk of the special correspondence and occasional articles written by my for the Civil and Military Gazette and the Pioneer between 1887-1889.”

from-sea-to-sea-rudyard-kipling-1899-volume 2-title page

The original edition was published in two volumes in 1899, by the Doubleday & McClure Company out of New York. Both volumes are currently worth approximately $175 in good condition. This must have been a triumphant steal for the company, as it had only just been founded in 1897. Fifty years later, 1947 exactly, it was the largest publishing house in the United States. Modern publishing is still building on these roots; DoubleDay merged with Knopf Publishing group in 2009, and the group they formed is now under Penguin Random House.

The collection I found contains a 1899 copyright, but there’s no guarantee to what that means for a print date. It contains a Doubleday & McClure Company trademark, as well as a notation for Norwood Press, J.S. Cushing & CO – Berwick & Smith, Norwood Mass. U.S.A. It appears that this company issued cheaper re-prints of popular works in the U.S.

My volumes are the Authorized Edition, though the preface puts that term into doubt, as Kipling says, “I have been forced into this action [of collecting the stories] by the enterprise of various publishers who, not content with disinterring old newspaper work from the decent seclusion of the office files, have in several instances seen fit to embellish it with additions and interpolations.”

This printing is worth significantly less, especially lacking the gilt embellishing originally on the spine, as mine is.

I love the idea of owning these volumes. I love Kipling. I love the sassy preface. Of course, I want to get them appraised with the rest of the books, but I’m sure they will inevitably end up in the keep pile, for sentimental value alone.

Books: ‘Lame Bessie’

Fern Glen Series Lame Bessie by H.H.F.

The next book up is “Lame Bessie; or, Simple Faith,” a children’s book in the “Fern Glen Series.” It was written by H.H.F., whose full name I have not been able to find. This copy says it was published by D. Lothrop & Co. out of Boston in 1875, but I found an 1874 edition of “Publisher’s Weekly” that lists the book available for sale for $1.

The cover of this copy is worn, but otherwise fully intact on the outside. It needs some mending on the inside, to reattach the cover, but the binding is still holding well. It’s dirty and moldy in some places, so it may be first book to be subject to some cleaning experimentation.

I haven’t been able to find another copy of this book online anywhere, but I did find some other entries in the series, one called “Overcoming” by Elizabeth K. Churchill, and one called “Fern Glen; or, Lilian’s Prayer” by M.H. Holt. That latter book may not be related, as it was published by a different publishing house, but the names seem to close to discount.

Books: ‘Little Women’

I’m going to kick things off on The Kipling Project by spotlighting the books I have found and am planning on restoring. The first up is “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott. This particular edition is the “New Illustrated” edition, published by Little, Brown, and Company in 1927.

It’s an early combined edit; the artwork, cover, and format are the same as the first combined edition, printed in 1896.

My copy is in fairly rough shape. The cover and the spine need a lot of work; all of the gilding has worn off the spine, and the fabric is torn in several places. But inside the binding and pages are still good.

This is one of the books I am currently planning on keeping for myself. It’s a childhood favorite, and it doesn’t appear to be worth anything at the moment, especially in it’s current state.