The Light That Failed - Rudyard Kipling 1891 - Macmillan and Co., London - First Complete Edition The first complete edition, of Kipling’s first novel, written when he was 26 years old, housed in bespoke sheepskin lined green morocco leather slipcase. With all fifteen chapters and the ‘sad ending, together with the first appearance of the poem ‘Mother O’ Mine’, as opposed to the 12 and 14 chapter American editions of December 1890, both ‘Disney’ versions that omitted the sad ending.

In Stewart’s variant a binding of blue cloth with the 56 page publisher’s catalogue dated February, 1891.

‘In 1890, Rudyard Kipling was living in two rented rooms above a sausage shop in Villiers Street, next to Charing Cross station, when he was commissioned to write a novel for Lippincott's Magazine. He worked to an exacting deadline of three months as he grappled with the most complex problem of his literary life.

The result was
The Light that Failed, a richly revealing, semi-autobiographical novel, which, though badly reviewed, has stayed in print for more than 100 years. The spark that ignited it was the reappearance in Kipling's life of his first love, Flo Garrard, and her crippling second rejection of him.’ – Jad Adams, The Guardian (January 2006).
  Published 17 March 1891 at 6s, 5,000 copies printed.

Provenance: Small contemporary owner’s signature dated April 1891 to front free endpaper.

References: Richards,
Rudyard Kipling A Bibliography, A55a. Martindell, Bibliography of Rudyard Kipling, 49. Livingston, Works of Rudyard Kipling, 64. Stewart, Rudyard Kipling: A Biographical Catalogue, 87. Grolier, Catalogue of the works of Rudyard Kipling, 124. Ballard, My Kipling Collection, XLVII(E).

Octavo (book size 19.5 x 13.5 cm), pp. xiii [8] 339 [1] [2 (publisher's ads)] [2] 56 (publisher’s catalogue dated February, 1891). Publisher’s dark blue diaper grain cloth boards (Richards variant a), spine lettered in gilt, spine and front board decorated in gilt and blind, rear board with publisher’s device blocked in blind, dark blue-green coated endpapers.
  Condition: Near fine, light rubbing to edges and toning to spine, inner hinges starting, internally fine. Slipcase very good with rubbing to spine and edges.   Ref: 109456   Price: HK$ 2,000