Rudyard Kipling: A Literary Life

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These views have been denounced as racist believing that one race is better than others , elitist believing oneself to be a part of a superior group , and jingoistic pertaining to a patriot who speaks in favor of an aggressive and warlike foreign policy. But for Kipling, the term "white man" indicated citizens of the more highly developed nations. He felt it was their duty to spread law, literacy, and morality throughout the world. In Kipling published Kim, the last and most charming of his portrayals of Indian life. When Kipling published The Five Nations, a book of South African verse, in , he was attacked in parodies satirical imitations , caricatures exaggerations for comic effect , and serious protests as the opponent of a growing spirit of peace and democratic equality.

Kipling retired to "Bateman's," a house near Burwash, a secluded village in Essex. Kipling now turned from the wide empire as his subject to simply England itself. Like the Jungle Books they were intended for young readers but were suitable for adults as well. His most significant work at this time was a number of volumes of short stories written in a different style — "Traffics and Discoveries" , "Actions and Reactions" , "A Diversity of Creatures" , "Debits and Credits" , and "Limits and Renewals" Kipling's later stories treat more complex, subtle, and somber serious subjects.

They reflect Kipling's darkened worldview following the death of his daughter, Josephine, in , and the death of his son, John, in Consequently, these stories have never been as popular as his earlier works. But modern critics, in reevaluating Kipling, have found a greater power and depth that make them among his best work. His autobiography, Something of Myself, was published in Rudyard Kipling's early stories and poems about life in colonial India made him a great favorite with English readers.

His support of English imperialism the policy of extending the rule of a nation over foreign countries at first contributed to this popularity but caused a reaction against him in the twentieth century. Gilmour, David. New York : Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, Ricketts, Harry. Rudyard Kipling: A Life. New York : Viking Press, Arguably the dominant figure in English literature of the s, when he published more than two hundred works of poetry and prose to almost unbroken acclaim, Rudyard Kipling 's unswerving imperialism, and apparent indifference to literary modernism, caused a downturn in his reputation in the years following World War I ; Kipling is one of the few English writers to have aligned himself with the politico-military establishment rather than against it.

Yet Kipling has always attracted admirers—among them T. Eliot — , W. Auden — , Randall Jarrell — , and Jorge Luis Borges — —and his status as one of the greatest English writers of the short story is by now widely acknowledged. Kipling was born in Bombay in , the son of Lockwood Kipling, who was in India to teach architectural sculpture, and Alice Macdonald, through whose sisters he was connected by marriage to the worlds of art and politics; the painter Edward Burne-Jones was his uncle, and Stanley Baldwin , the future prime minister , a cousin.

His childhood was idyllic until in he and his younger sister Trix were taken "home" to England and left as the boarders of a Mrs. Here, withdrawn and unhappy, he learned to observe moods and tempers, and consoled himself by reading; his story "Baa Baa, Black Sheep " is a fictional record of his experiences. Excused from games because of his poor eyesight, he was given the run of the library and encouraged to write. In he left school to work as a journalist in India, at first in Lahore, and later in Allahabad, where his duties shifted gradually from journalism proper to the supply of poems and stories.

In he returned to England, to take literary London by storm. To his contemporaries, the early stories, beginning with the collections Plain Tales from the Hills and Soldiers Three , seemed to derive from journalism: smart, knowing accounts of Anglo-Indian intrigues, the pleasures and hardships of barracks life, the exotic but threatening world of the native population.

That much of this material was new to a London audience no doubt contributed to its popularity. What strikes the twenty-first-century reader is rather the instability of the stories, figured in the way so many of them turn on lost or mistaken identities. Kipling continued to produce stories and poems at an astonishing rate, including his first not very successful novel, The Light that Failed , and the highly successful collection Barrack-Room Ballads In , following what seems to have been a breakdown, he married an American, Caroline Balestier, and moved with her to Vermont.

Here they had two children, Josephine b. Kipling made a number of American friends, among them Theodore Roosevelt , and as well as the two Jungle Book s wrote a novel with an American subject, Captains Courageous , but in a quarrel with his brother-in-law persuaded him to return to England. In , on a visit to New York with his family, now including a third child, John b. He never visited the United States again. Kipling's interests turned to South Africa , prompted partly by the need to winter abroad, partly by his commitment to the British cause during and after the Boer War — Despite the success of the novel Kim , the most generous of his books, and of the Just So Stories begun as stories for Josephine , his reputation was on the wane.

To many of his contemporaries, his imperialism seemed unduly harsh, and his anxiety over Britain's military unpreparedness seemed overstated. Increasingly, and with increasing bitterness, as in the poems in The Five Nations , Kipling found himself writing in opposition to the dominant mood of the times. The purchase in of Bateman's, a house in the Sussex countryside, helped to soften his temper. His political conservatism and his new status as one of the gentry were brought together in the stories and poems of Puck of Pook's Hill and Rewards and Fairies , a series of fictional excavations into the history of the English countryside reading back through the sweetness of the landscape to the bitter and violent deeds by which it had been won and by which it must now be defended: henceforth a constant theme in his life and writing.

At the same time, Traffics and Discoveries included two stories, "They" and "Mrs Bathurst," that exhibit a delicacy, a compassion, and an interest in the supernatural, which were to mark the more tolerant stories of his last decade. That Kipling's politics were frequently strident—anti-Irish, anti-German, anti-Jewish—has too often, wrongly, been taken to suggest that his stories must be similarly limited. In Kipling was awarded the Nobel prize for literature, the first Englishman to receive the award.

But the chief event of the second half of his life was the death in battle of his son, John, at Loos in Nothing could compensate him for the loss, nor could he ever forgive Germany. Yet while his war stories include the ferocious "Swept and Garnished" and "Mary Postgate" , he wrote others that deal sympathetically with war neurosis "shell-shock" , healing, and forgiveness, including "The Gardener" and "The Wish House" Debits and Credits, , and "Day-spring Mishandled," in Limits and Renewals Many of these later stories are allusive, elliptical, and self-reflexive, crosscutting between high and popular culture: not modernist, but with affinities to modernism, as Edmund Wilson — recognized in a review of Debits and Credits.

But Kipling had no interest in literary movements and cliques; in any case, his health was poor, as was that of his wife, and he divided his time between writing, traveling, often for the sake of his health or hers, and campaigning for such causes as compulsory national service and rearmament, in the face of what he saw as the imminent threat from German militarism.

In he began work on an autobiography, Something of Myself, a text as cunning and elliptical as any of the stories. In January he was taken into the hospital with a burst ulcer; he died there on 18 January and was buried five days later in Westminster Abbey. See also Great Britain ; Imperialism ; India. Carrington, Charles. Rudyard Kipling : His Life and Work. Harmondsworth, U. Gilbert, Elliot, ed. Kipling and the Critics.

New York , The poet, essayist, and fiction writer Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay , the child of English parents. Although cherished by his parents, he also developed strong bonds with the Indian servants who tended him, to the extent that his first language was Hindustani. In , however, Kipling was sent to England to be educated.

He was boarded with an unfeeling foster family, an experience he later used as the basis for "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep " In this short story young Punch is so ill-used by his caretaker that no amount of later love can take away his knowledge of "Hate, Suspicion and Despair. This furnished the material for Stalky Co. Immediately after finishing school, Kipling returned to India , where he worked as a journalist for seven years.

It was during this time that he began to write and publish fiction. Although a number of Kipling's books are categorized as children's literature, it might be more accurate to say that he wrote for a dual audience. For example, his The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book work on several levels: as simple adventure tales, as mystical coming-of-age stories, and as thoughtful explorations of the relationship between individuals and their societies.

While children can read and enjoy these books, there is also much in them for adults to ponder. Many readers have criticized Kipling for his imperialist views. In his famous poem "The White Man's Burden" , for example, Kipling urges English readers to accept the responsibility of civilizing people of other countries. The presence of "two separate sides" characterizes much of Kipling's work. The novel Kim is the story of a young Irish orphan living in India, torn between his roles as a secret agent for the British government and as a disciple of a holy lama.

By presenting India as a diverse society harmoniously united under British rule, Kim justifies imperialism. On the other hand, Kim's great love and respect for the lama implies that Kipling questioned British assumptions about the inferiority of native peoples.

Rudyard Kipling: A Life by Harry Ricketts

Similarly, Just So Stories for Little Children both depicts sexist stereotypes a henpecked husband triumphs over his wife and celebrates female intelligence a small girl invents writing. If Kipling reinforces many of the conventional views of his time, he also often subverts them. Kipling's texts have been adapted for film, including The Jungle Book, which was adapted and released by Alexander Korda Films in and animated by Walt Disney Productions in Kim was adapted and released by Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer in Kipling's writings also have been adapted for theater, radio, and television.

Kipling, Rudyard. Something of Myself, ed. Thomas Pinney. New York : Cambridge University Press. Pinney, Thomas. Introduction to Something of Myself, by Rudyard Kipling , ed. Plotz, Judith. His works, including his "White Man's Burden" and Kim , sought to extol the "virtues" of racial prejudice and imperial power. Born in India, where his father, John, worked as an architectural sculptor in the Bombay School of Art, Rudyard's first five years were carefree; but when shipped "home" to live with a mean-spirited "pious" family in Southsea, he suffered wretched "beatings and humiliations. Five years later, Kipling returned to India as a reporter, hired by Lahore's Civil and Military Gazette , for which he wrote Departmental Ditties and Plain Tales from the Hills , as well as Barrack-Room Ballads , which soon made his name and poetry more famous than any viceroy of India.

Kipling believed so deeply in the virtues of British imperialism that he wrote his "White Man's Burden" to help Theodore Roosevelt persuade many doubting Americans to seize the Philippines in When World War I started, Kipling pushed his own sixteen-year-old son to a tragically early grave on the Western Front, pulling strings with friends at the War Office, to hustle underage John off to Loos, where he was killed after less than a month of bloody combat.

For Kipling believed that it was, indeed, to "civilize" India's darkly "benighted natives," not to exploit and bully them, that thousands of "selfless servants" of the British Raj hefted their daily "burdens. In Kipling won the Nobel Prize for literature. He started to write his autobiography, Something of Myself, but died in London, on 18 January , before it was finished. See also British Impact.

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New York : Charles Scribner's Sons, Maugham, W. Maugham's Choice of Kipling's Best. Garden City, N. Kipling, Rudyard — Kipling is often thought of primarily as the trumpet of empire, but his writings were more varied than that suggests and he was far from triumphalist in tone. His parents were methodists. Kipling was born in Bombay , where his father had a chair in architecture.

Most Important Facts about Rudyard Kipling and his Works (For TGT, PGT, NTA- NET)

His first name is derived from Rudyard Lake, near Leek Staffs. Stanley Baldwin was his first cousin. Kipling hurt his eyes reading as a boy and wore spectacles from his schooldays. After United Services College in Devon, he returned to India as a journalist and rapidly acquired a reputation.

At 24 he settled in London, though continuing to travel widely, particularly in America and South Africa. Stalky and Co. He published the Just-So Stories , one of the few children's books that children enjoy, in when he moved into Bateman's in Sussex, and Puck of Pook's Hill , set in the post-Roman period, in Kipling declined national honours but was awarded the Nobel prize for literature in His only son was killed in the Great War in Rudyard Kipling , —, English author, b.

Bombay now Mumbai , India. Educated in England, Kipling returned to India in and worked as an editor on a Lahore paper. His early poems were collected in Departmental Ditties , Barrack-Room Ballads , and other volumes. Kipling's masterful stories and poems interpreted India in all its heat, strife, and ennui. His romantic imperialism and his characterization of the true Englishman as brave, conscientious, and self-reliant did much to enhance his popularity.

Other works include Stalky and Co. England's first Nobel Prize winner in literature , he is buried in Westminster Abbey. See his Something of Myself ; biographies by J. Stewart , J. Harrison , H. Ricketts , and D. Gilmour ; studies by J. Tompkins 2d ed. Shashane , R. Moss , P. Mallett, ed.

Dillingham Kipling, Joseph Rudyard — British writer, b. Kipling was the first English writer to receive the Nobel Prize in literature Rudyard Kipling All Sources -. Updated Media sources 1 About encyclopedia. Kipling, Rudyard gale. Despite these small measures, India remained firmly in British control and economic exploitation had only increased by the time Kipling was born. Gale Contextual Encyclopedia of World Literature. Learn more about citation styles Citation styles Encyclopedia.

Kipling, Joseph Rudyard gale. Verse: Definitive Edition. Stories and Poems, edited by Roger Lancelyn Green. Short Stories, edited by Andrew Rutherford. Selected Verse, edited by James Cochrane. The Portable Kipling, edited by Irving Howe. Selected Stories, edited by Sandra Kemp. Short Stories Plain Tales from the Hills. Soldiers Three: A Collection of Stories. The Phantom "Rickshaw and Other Tales.

Indian Tales. Soldier Tales. The Kipling Reader. Traffics and Discoveries. Actions and Reactions. A Diversity of Creatures. Selected Stories, edited by William Lyon Phelps. Land and Sea Tales. Debits and Credits. Selected Stories. Humorous Tales. Limits and Renewals. Animal Stories. All the Mowgli Stories. Collected Dog Stories. More Selected Stories.

Bibliographic Information

Twenty-One Tales. Ten Stories. A Treasury of Short Stories. Short Stories , edited by Edward Parone. Famous Tales of India, edited by B. Phantoms and Fantasies: 20 Tales. Twenty-One Tales, edited by Tim Wilkinson. Tales of East and West, edited by Bernard Bergonzi. In Black and White. Under the Deodars. The Light That Failed. Mine Own People.

Many Inventions. The Day's Work. Abaft the Funnel. Fiction for children The Jungle Book. The Second Jungle Book. Puck of Pook's Hill. Rewards and Fairies. Land and Sea Tales for Scouts and Guides. Ham and the Porcupine. The Complete Just So Stories. Poetry Schoolboy Lyrics. Echoes published anonymously , with Alice Kipling. Departmental Ditties and Other Verses.

The Seven Seas. An Almanac of Twelve Sports. Poems, edited by Wallace Rice.

Rudyard Kipling

Recessional and Other Poems. The Absent-Minded Beggar. Occasional Poems. The Muse among the Motors. Collected Verse. A History of England verse only , with C. Songs from Books. Twenty Poems. The Years Between. Verse: Inclusive Edition A Kipling Anthology: Verse. Songs for Youth, from Collected Verse.

A Choice of Songs. Sea and Sussex. Songs of the Sea. Poems Selected Poems. Sixty Poems. A Choice of Kipling's Verse, edited by T. A Kipling Anthology, edited by W. Other Quartette, with others. Separate different tags with a comma. To include a comma in your tag, surround the tag with double quotes. Please enable cookies in your browser to get the full Trove experience. Skip to content Skip to search. Language English View all editions Prev Next edition 3 of 6.

Kipling, Rudyard, -- Political and social views. Authors, English -- 20th century -- Biography. Journalists -- Great Britain -- Biography. British -- India -- History. Authors, English -- 19th century -- Biography. Summary "Rudyard Kipling made his name as the poet and story-teller of the British in India, but his stories over include tales for children, studies of love and hate, of healing and revenge, of the Sussex countryside and of the supernatural.

His poems, including If and the Barrack-Room Ballads, are among the best-known and most quoted in the language. He was a newspaperman by training and instinct, and a gifted travel writer. This book traces Kipling's difficult private life, his dealings with the literary and political world of his time, the rise and fall of his reputation, and his right to be considered the greatest English writer of the short story.

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