Arion Lyre

54. With the Night Mail by Rudyard Kipling, with art by Vincent Perez.

With the Night Mail by Rudyard Kipling, with an introduction by Thomas Pinney and 32 two-color illustrations by Vincent Perez, 1998.

This is an important early work of science fiction, written in 1904. Kipling predicts aeronautics in the year 2000 to be by dirigible for freight and passengers, the airplane having been superseded by lighter-than-air craft. His airships are so fast they can carry the mail overnight across the Atlantic from England to Canada. He invents structures, machinery, inflatable flight suits, docking towers, and devises an exciting adventure for the crew of Postal Packet 162. At the back of the book is a series of appendices, with instructions to aviators, a parodic book review, and comic advertisements for aviation equipment, all the humorous concoctions of Kipling. The artist Vincent Perez envisions Kipling's aeronautical world, zeppelins that resemble spaceships, airmen dressed like blimps, engines powered by a magical ray. His drawings, full of fine detail, help the reader to imagine a future that is here but not as predicted.


Format: 9-3/4 by 6-1/4 inches, 122 pages. Printed by letterpress for the text and photo-offset for the illustrations. The types are English Old Style, in Monotype and hand composition, with Cheltenham and Cushing Antique in hand composition for display in the appendices. A frontispiece portrait of Kipling, reproduced from a photoengraving, is tipped in. The paper is Legion Letterpress. The binding is full tan sailcloth over boards. The book is presented in a mailing envelope with a string-and-button closure, millennial commemorative stamp, and an airmail label identifying title and author, to provide the protection usually afforded by a slipcase. Numbered and signed by the artist. Edition of 250 copies, $285.00. Out of print.*

* NOTE: A limited number of copies are currently available. Book in original binding: $300.00. Please contact us for purchasing information.


Title page and frontispiece of With the Night Mail.

Title page and frontispiece of With the Night Mail.

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Edition available: The format is 9-3/4 by 6-1/4 inches, 122 pages, bound in full tan sailcloth over boards, numbered and signed by the artist. The book was limited to an edition of 250 copies for sale. Out of print.* (see note)

"Pale flame...alights on the precise tip of our nose." Illustration by Vincent Perez.

Pale flame...alights on the precise tip of our nose.