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‘He shall live to run with the Pack and to hunt with the Pack; and in the end, look you, hunter of little naked cubs – frog-eater – fish-killer – he shall hunt thee!’ One of the most famous children’s stories of all time, The Jungle Book tells of the ‘man-cub’ Mowgli, who flees the cowardly, lame tiger Shere Khan and is rescued by the Seeonee Wolf Pack and raised with them. The wolves are initially reluctant to take him in, but Baloo the Bear and Bagheera the Black Panther vouch for him, and offer to teach him the Law of the Jungle.
First published in 1893-4, The Jungle Book has never lost its hold on the world’s imagination. It has been adapted for stage and screen, including the 1967 Disney animated film. A thrilling adventure about a boy learning to survive in the wild, it is also suffused with Kipling’s respect and affection for the natural world, and his imaginative portrayal of its complex rules and customs. He wrote that he put in the tales nearly everything he ‘knew or heard or dreamed about the Indian jungle’. Many of the names of the animals – Akela, Baloo, Shere Khan – come from the Hindi, as do many of the Jungle terms, like the word for rabies: ‘We call it hydrophobia, but they call it dewanee – the madness – and run.’
As well as the Mowgli stories, The Jungle Book also contains poems and tales such as ‘Rikki-Tikki-Tavi’, the story of a mongoose who defends an English family from a snake, and ‘The White Seal’, the enchanting coming-of-age story of a young seal in the Bering Sea. This Folio Society edition contains the 1908 illustrations by Maurice and Edward J. Detmold, two artists of the Golden Age of illustration. They capture all Kipling’s immortal creations: the gentle, lazy Baloo; the Bandur-Log monkeys among the ruins; and Kala Nag, the great elephant.
Read more about the life and work of Rudyard Kipling
Review by joutsen on 5th Feb 2013
"A fine edition and a treat to any admirer of Kipling. High-quality paper, strong binding, comfortable text layout - all the usual standarts of Folio. The illustrations however certainly don't keep up ..." [read more]