The book is from a collection of Kipling’s works that belonged to his second daughter, Elsie Bambridge, who lived at her marital home of Wimpole Hall from 1938–1976. The Kipling family home, Bateman’s, was given to the National Trust in the 1930s so it is thought that Elsie brought her collection of books with her, including the book dedicated to her sister, when she moved in.
The book, which is now on display at Wimpole Hall, has only recently come to light following a three-year project to catalogue the extensive library.
Mark Purcell, the National Trust’s Libraries Curator said:
‘There are nearly 7,000 books in the Wimpole library and this has been a big project to catalogue them all properly, but as one of the nation’s favourite children’s books of all time, this first edition of the Jungle Book with its rare inscription is very special.’
Fiona Hall, Curator at Wimpole Hall said:
‘This inscription is very touching, especially when you consider that Kipling lost not only Josephine, but also his youngest child, John, who died in the Great War. As Kipling’s only remaining child, Elsie would have really treasured this book.
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