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Kipling, Rudyard, 1865–1936

The absent-minded beggar / [Rudyard Kipling] ; music by Arthur Sullivan.

[London] : [The Daily Mail], [1899?]
Physical Description:
1 printed handkerchief : linen ; 45 x 45 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Textiles 2c
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
BEIN Richards Kipling 986: Variant printed in red. From the David Alan Richards Collection of Rudyard Kipling.
BEIN Richards Kipling 2597: 42 x 46 cm. From the David Alan Richards Collection of Rudyard Kipling.
BEIN BrSides Double Folio 2020 43: Variant printed on silk (54 x 55 cm). From the David Alan Richards Collection of Rudyard Kipling.
The illustrations are drawn by Richard Caton Woodville.
Stewart, J.M. Rudyard Kipling, page 184
Schoeser, M. Printed handkerchiefs, pages 14-15
Richards, D.A. Rudyard Kipling: a bibliography, E1-60
Consists of the text Kipling's "The absent-minded beggar," with music by Arthur Sullivan, portraits of Lord Roberts and Queen Victoria, and a map of Transvaal and Orange Free State showing rail lines and roads, all printed in dark blue on a cream handkerchief. The handkerchief was sold to raise money for the Soldiers' Families Fund after the outbreak of the Second Boer War (1899-1902). The poem was specially commissioned for the Fund, and first appeared in The Daily Mail on October 31, 1899. It was given a musical score by Arthur Sullivan (of Gilbert & Sullivan fame).
Despite Roberts' portrait being entwined in the title, the absent-minded beggar of Kipling's poem is the British "Tommy," forgetfully leaving their dependants in need to go off to fight for their country. The chorus of the song exhorted its audience to "pass the hat for your credit's sake, and pay, pay, pay!" The patriotic poem and song caused a sensation and was constantly performed throughout the war and beyond.
Subject Terms:
Daily mail (London, England)
Richards, David Alan, 1945- -- Ownership.
Roberts, Frederick Sleigh Roberts, Earl, 1832-1914 -- Portraits.
South African War, 1899-1902 -- Civilian relief.
Victoria, Queen of Great Britain, 1819-1901 -- Portraits.
Cloth prints.
Printed textile materials.
Lithographs -- 1899.
Sullivan, Arthur, 1842-1900.
Woodville, Richard Caton, 1856-1927, ill.

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