Captains Courageous.

"Every one wanted to say so much that no one said anything in particular": First American Edition of Rudyard Kipling's Captains Courageous

Captains Courageous.

KIPLING, Rudyard.

Item Number: 96543

New York: The Century Co, 1897.

First American edition of Kipling’s richly detailed tale of American deep-sea fishing. Octavo, original illustrated cloth with gilt titles to the spine and front panel and gilt central sailboat motif. In fine condition, bookplate. A superior example.

Like his two Jungle Books, Kipling wrote this morality tale of life aboard a New England fishing boat while living near Brattleboro, Vermont, his wife’s hometown. The book thus contains “something of his feelings about America—both his affection and his irritation” (Carpenter & Prichard, 296). “This is the only book of Kipling’s which is set entirely in America. All the characters are American. Not only that, but the heart of the book—its moral in a single sentence—is one of Kipling’s main beliefs of this period expressed in terms essentially American, or perhaps more particularly New England. He put it later in verse: ‘And the Gods of the Copy-book Maxims said: ‘If you don’t work you will die!’ It is a saga of hard physical work in conflict with natural forces. It is a book which could hardly have been written by anyone who did not admire Huckleberry Finn; it is a book whose claim to survival rests mainly on detail, and it is all American detail” (Mason, 119).

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