Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Rudyard Kipling comments on his upcoming "set of tales" on "Jungle life"

    Rudyard Kipling Autograph Letter Signed with Drawing. One and one-half pages, 4.25" x 6.5", December 20, 1893, n.p., with interesting content about Kipling's upcoming "set of tales" on "Jungle life". Kipling writes this letter to editor William H. Rideing who had previously solicited Kipling for an article for his magazine, the Youth's Companion. In part: "I am in receipt of yours on the 18th instant suggesting a 2000/2500 w/ article for the Companion. Now that I have seen some of the mothers of the youths who read the paper I may perhaps be able to come nearer to its demands. It is very difficult for me to concoct[?] notions but I find in my notebooks the story of a young apprentice in the repairing shops of the E. I. R-our great Indian railroad. We will suppose he is 18 or 19-sketch the life of the railway community and a railway town in India (Bengal). . . . I used to know something of our Indian railway line. It's a community apart. Very many thanks for Sir. E.[dwin] Arnolds Jungle life series. I am doing a set of tales on the same subject more or less for St. Nicholas." Earlier in 1893, Kipling's Jungle Book began to be serialized in St. Nicholas Magazine. Those "Jungle life" stories helped propel the English author to the peak of his career in the early 1900s (he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907).

    For thirty-seven years, William H. Rideing (1834-1918) of Boston was the editor of the Youth's Companion, a children's magazine published in England from 1827 through 1929, when it merged with American Boy. In the 1890s, the magazine tried to reach more adults by publishing contributions by authors such as Mark Twain, Jack London, Emily Dickinson, and Kipling. The new direction worked for a while with sales peaking in 1893. St. Nicholas Magazine, which serialized the Jungle Book, was one of Youth Companion's largest competitors. Embossed at the top of page one of the letter is "Naulakha,/ Brattlesboro,/ Vermont", the name of Kipling's house. The letter has some toning around the edges, else fine.

    Included is a printed sketch of Kipling (with cap and pipe) by artist Thomas Nast, dated December 25, 1896. Highlights in pencil and b/w ink have been added, presumably by Kipling. The sketch has been affixed to a mat to which Kipling has inscribed, "For Wm. H. Rideing/ with compliments of the season". Both pages of the letter are matted and framed with the drawing for an overall size of 23" x 13.5". Fine.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2009
    16th-17th Tuesday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,452

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold on Jun 17, 2009 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 September 25 - 26 Including the Mahoney Collection of George Washington Inaugural Buttons. Americana & Political Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    The resulting auction of my property overwhelmed me. I want to thank Tom Slater and the Heritage team for a very satisfactory experience and profitable result with my historical consignment.
    Henry L.,
    Lexington, KY
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search