SP Books and British Library to release first edition of The Jungle Book

SP Books and British Library to release first edition of The Jungle Book

Independent publisher SP Books has collaborated with the British Library to release the first publication of Rudyard Kipling’s original manuscript of The Jungle Book

The press, which specialises in the publication of limited facsimile editions of manuscripts, will publish the script in book form on Thursday (25th November), featuring the author's original illustrations and verses. It will also contain 96 coloured etchings by French artist Maurice de Becque, made available in 1,000 limited edition copies. 

The handwritten, original 173-page script has been housed at the British Library since 1940, after Kipling's wife Caroline bequeathed it to the institution. It was penned in Vermont between 1892 and 1895.

SP Books launched in the UK with an edition of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre that was also held in the British Library, followed by the release of F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Its most recent UK releases are Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, Lady Susan by Jane Austen and The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (December 2020).

Commenting on the manuscript, the publishers said: "The incredible settings and characters of The Jungle Book have been well loved by readers for many years, so Rudyard Kipling has been an author we have long dreamed of publishing. His handwriting is elegant and precise, and alongside some of his drawings, it is a unique opportunity to delve into the author's creative process and understand his vision up close."