[N.P.]: [N.P.], 1909. 6 pages of galley proofs, each measuring 21x6 inches and folded in half (earlier fold creases present). The complete proofs of the story as it appeared in Colliers magazine on March 27, 1909; these galleys show approximately 160 revisions and corrections in ink by Kipling and with his initials "R.K." at the foot of the second sheet. These proofs have appeared once at auction, in a lot of Kipling letters and manuscripts sold at the auction of The Renowned Collection Formed by the Late Ellis Ames Ballard in 1942.
"Kipling's Actions and Reactions (1909) contain stories that nakedly avow the good of the British Empire for colonialized peoples, especially in Africa. Little Foxes specifically dramatizes an Ethiopian village's happy collaboration between natives and English rulers. The natives, depicted as opposing anti-imperialist reformers in Parliament, are at home with their white men, who are also at home with them" (Cambridge History). For Kipling, the British are and should be white saviours; and those who believe in stepping back imperialism and leaving control of the land to Indigenous people are foolhardy. Critic J.I.M. Stewart, though admitting that on the surface "it is exceedingly funny," condemned Little Foxes as "a story betraying, or rather parading, some of Kipling's most shocking prejudices, and it will not commend itself to persons instinctively respectful towards those earnest in the cause of developing multi-racial communities."
The present set of annotated galleys play a crucial role in the history of the short story, and they shed light on Kipling's involvement with the narrative as it evolved toward print. While some of the 160 alterations are simple punctuation, most alter words or even supply new paragraphs that will shape the final product. Kipling evidently used the first setting of his text in type as an opportunity to revise and rewrite. There are numerous minor corrections to punctuation, spelling and text that has been set incorrectly. However, there are also many examples of Kipling revising and rewriting his text. On the first leaf, for example, “It was a year since he had seen the Emirs...” is marked-up to read “He had seen, not so long ago, the Emirs...” There are also additional changes of single words: “they were fairly into the fields” becoming “they were fairly among the fields”, “there must be some game...” becoming “there must be some swindle...” and “the tramp of the Governor’s Arab” becoming “the tramp of the Governor’s horse”, for example.
Provenance: Ellis Ames Ballard; Parke-Bernet Galleries, 21-22 January 1942; James F. Drake Rare Books and
Autographs, New York; Doris L. Benz. (Item #4441)