What does the dedication To The Other Three in the book Beast and Man in India (John Lockwood Kipling, 1891) mean?

closed as off-topic by AmE speaker, Dan Bron, JJJ, J. Taylor, jimm101 Jun 7 '18 at 12:46

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  • Can you edit your question to add the dedication? I don't know what it is. Help the reader to answer the question. – Mitch May 29 '18 at 22:05
  • "To The Other Three" - this is the dedication. See the original here gutenberg.org/files/40708/40708-h/40708-h.htm – Aleksey Jun 1 '18 at 12:58
  • Thanks for the link. That makes it clear. This is not a question of English language but rather of literary, social, or psychological interpretation. "To the other three" means literally 'this work is dedicated to the three other people already mentioned' but since we don't have the picture available or know who they are and there haven't been three more people referred to (such less a first one), the dedication is simply cryptic. – Mitch Jun 1 '18 at 13:43
  • Interesting question! I've asked about this on Literature SE (since unfortunately your question here is too old to migrate over to Literature). Questions about the meaning of a passage in the context of a book are generally more likely to be on-topic at Literature than here: this site (EL&U) specialises in language more than literary analysis, and also closes a lot of questions for being insufficiently researched. – Rand al'Thor Aug 2 '18 at 7:59
  • Just FYI, I've done some more research into this question and found the likely answer. (cc @OliverMason who posted an answer here) – Rand al'Thor Sep 18 '18 at 12:32

It is hard to tell without knowing more about the content of the book, or perhaps even Kipling's life itself. The literal meaning would be that there is a group of four (people?), one of whom is the author, and he dedicates it to the other three members of the group.

One description states The most cryptic piece is the dedication page with a leonine figure made of arabic characters and says dedicated to the other three, which says it all...

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