Cabinet 10: Historiated Initials - Kipling Family

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Historiated initials are also found in more recent books, for example in the 19th century copy of Rudyard Kipling's The Second Jungle Book, seen here on display. The illustrations, including the historiated initials were designed by John Lockwood Kipling (1837-1911), the father of Rudyard Kipling(1865-1936). The Second Jungle Book was first published in 1895.

Rudyard Kipling, The Second Jungle Book. London : Macmillan, 1950. Central PR4854.S42 1950

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Historiated initials by John Lockwood Kipling also decorate Tales of the Punjab . ‘Sir Buzz’ is a genie-like character gifted by a tiger to a soldier’s son as a reward for removing a thorn from his paw. Sir Buzz was short, described as “only one span high, but his beard was a span and a quarter long, and trailed upon the ground".

Flora Annie Steel, Tales of the Punjab told by the people. London : Macmillan, 1894. Brasch GR305.P8 ST16


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Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) provided his own illustrations for his Just so stories, including the initials. The initial N is produced by the arrangement of the ropes and beading around the camel’s body.

Rudyard Kipling, Just so stories : for little children. London : Macmillan, 1950. Central PR4854.J83 1950