The Absent Minded Beggar by Rudyard Kipling.
Copyright in England and the United States by the Daily Mail Publishing Co., 1899.
Leaflet, folded twice as issued, with two half-tones and facsimile handwriting. Total 320 x 610mm (12½ x 24".
The lyric sheet for a poem written by Rudyard Kipling in support of a fund for the families of soldiers fighting in the Boer War. The 'absent-minded beggars' were the Army Reserve soldiers who went off to do their patriotic duties forgetting to provide for their wives and children. Soon afterwards Richard Caton Woodville supplied an illustration, 'A Gentleman in Kharki', showing a wounded but defiant British Tommy in battle (included in this leaflet) and Arthur Sullivan (of Gilbert & Sullivan fame) set the poem to music. Although Kipling later wrote that it 'lacked poetry' and became 'wedded... to a tune guaranteed to pull teeth out of barrel-organs', his poem helped the the fund raise £340,000. The fund was started by the new Daily Mail and was such a success that the newspaper soon selling a million copies a day, the highest circulation in the world.
[Ref: 39692] £95.00