Rudyard Kipling: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...

More interesting facts on Rudyard Kipling

Include this on your site/blog:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rudyard Kipling

Photogravure from 1926
Born Joseph Rudyard Kipling
30 December 1865(1865-12-30)
Bombay, British India
Died 18 January 1936 (aged 70)
Middlesex Hospital, in London, England[1]
Occupation Short story writer, Novelist, Poet, Journalist
Nationality British
Genres Short story, novel, children's literature, poetry, travel literature, Science Fiction
Subjects India
Notable work(s) The Jungle Books
Just So Stories
Notable award(s) Nobel Prize in Literature

Rudyard Kipling (30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936) was a British author and poet. Born in Bombay, in British India,[2] he is best known for his works of fiction The Jungle Book (1894) (a collection of stories which includes Rikki-Tikki-Tavi), Kim (1901) (a tale of adventure), many short stories, including The Man Who Would Be King (1888); and his poems, including Mandalay (1890), Gunga Din (1890), and If— (1910). He is regarded as a major "innovator in the art of the short story";[3] his children's books are enduring classics of children's literature; and his best works speak to a versatile and luminous narrative gift.[4][5]

Kipling was one of the most popular writers in English, in both prose and verse, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.[3] The author Henry James said of him: "Kipling strikes me personally as the most complete man of genius (as distinct from fine intelligence) that I have ever known."[3] In 1907, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, making him the first English language writer to receive the prize, and to date he remains its youngest recipient.[6] Among other honours, he was sounded out for the British Poet Laureateship and on several occasions for a knighthood, all of which he declined.[7]

Kipling's subsequent reputation has changed according to the political and social climate of the age [8][9] and the resulting contrasting views about him continued for much of the 20th century.[10][11] A young George Orwell called him a "prophet of British imperialism"[12] but later confessed to a burgeoning respect for him and his work. According to critic Douglas Kerr: "He is still an author who can inspire passionate disagreement and his place in literary and cultural history is far from settled. But as the age of the European empires recedes, he is recognized as an incomparable, if controversial, interpreter of how empire was experienced. That, and an increasing recognition of his extraordinary narrative gifts, make him a force to be reckoned with."[13]


Childhood and early life

Rudyard Kipling was born Joseph Rudyard Kipling on 30 December 1865 in Bombay, in India which was then part of the British Empire, to Alice Kipling (née MacDonald) and (John) Lockwood Kipling.[14] Alice Kipling (one of four remarkable Victorian sisters)[15] was a vivacious woman[16] about whom a future Viceroy of India would say, "Dullness and Mrs. Kipling cannot exist in the same room."[3] Lockwood Kipling, a sculptor and pottery designer, was the principal and professor of architectural sculpture at the newly-founded Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy School of Art and Industry in Bombay.[16]

The couple, who had moved to India earlier that year, had met in courtship two years previously at Rudyard Lake in Rudyard, Staffordshire, England, and had been so taken by its beauty that they now named their firstborn after it. Kipling's maternal aunt, Georgiana, was married to the painter Edward Burne-Jones and his aunt Agnes was married to the painter Edward Poynter. His most famous relative was his first cousin, Stanley Baldwin, who was Conservative Prime Minister three times in the 1920s and 1930s.[17] Kipling's birthplace home still stands on the campus of the Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art in Mumbai and for many years was used as the Dean's residence. Mumbai historian Foy Nissen points out however that although the cottage bears a plaque stating that this is the site where Kipling was born, the original cottage was pulled down decades ago and a new one built in its place. The wooden bungalow has been empty and locked up for years.[18] In November 2007, it was announced that his birthplace in the campus of the J J School of Art in Mumbai will be turned into a museum celebrating the author and his works (ref under Legacy below).

Kipling's India: map of British India

Of Bombay, Kipling was to write:[19]

Mother of Cities to me,
For I was born in her gate,
Between the palms and the sea,
Where the world-end steamers wait.

According to Bernice M. Murphy: "Kipling’s parents considered themselves 'Anglo-Indians' (a term used in the 19th century for people of British origin living in India) and so too would their son, though he in fact spent the bulk of his life elsewhere. Complex issues of identity and national allegiance would become prominent features in his fiction."[20] Kipling himself was to write about these conflicts: "In the afternoon heats before we took our sleep, she (the Portuguese ayah, or nanny) or Meeta (the Hindu bearer, or male attendant) would tell us stories and Indian nursery songs all unforgotten, and we were sent into the dining-room after we had been dressed, with the caution 'Speak English now to Papa and Mamma.' So one spoke 'English,' haltingly translated out of the vernacular idiom that one thought and dreamed in".[21]

The Gallery of HMS Calcutta (Portsmouth), 1876

Kipling's days of "strong light and darkness" in Bombay were to end when he was five years old.[21] As was the custom in British India, he and his three-year-old sister, Alice (or "Trix"), were taken to England—in their case to Southsea (Portsmouth), to be cared for by a couple that took in children of British nationals living in India. The two children would live with the couple, Captain and Mrs. Holloway, at their house, Lorne Lodge, for the next six years. In his autobiography, published some 65 years later, Kipling would recall this time with horror, and wonder ironically if the combination of cruelty and neglect he experienced there at the hands of Mrs. Holloway might not have hastened the onset of his literary life: "If you cross-examine a child of seven or eight on his day’s doings (specially when he wants to go to sleep) he will contradict himself very satisfactorily. If each contradiction be set down as a lie and retailed at breakfast, life is not easy. I have known a certain amount of bullying, but this was calculated torture—religious as well as scientific. Yet it made me give attention to the lies I soon found it necessary to tell: and this, I presume, is the foundation of literary effort".[21]

Kipling's sister Trix fared better at Lorne Lodge, Mrs. Holloway apparently hoping that Trix would eventually marry the Holloway son.[22] The two children, however, did have relatives in England they could visit. They spent a month each Christmas with their maternal aunt Georgiana ("Georgy"), and her husband, the artist Edward Burne-Jones, at their house, "The Grange" in Fulham, London, which Kipling was to call "a paradise which I verily believe saved me."[21] In the spring of 1877, Alice Kipling returned from India and removed the children from Lorne Lodge. Kipling remembers, "Often and often afterwards, the beloved Aunt would ask me why I had never told any one how I was being treated. Children tell little more than animals, for what comes to them they accept as eternally established. Also, badly-treated children have a clear notion of what they are likely to get if they betray the secrets of a prison-house before they are clear of it".[21]

The Westward Ho! Ladies Golf Club at Bideford

In January 1878 Kipling was admitted to the United Services College, at Westward Ho!, Devon, a school founded a few years earlier to prepare boys for the armed forces. The school proved rough going for him at first, but later led to firm friendships, and provided the setting for his schoolboy stories Stalky & Co. published many years later.[22] During his time there, Kipling also met and fell in love with Florence Garrard, a fellow boarder with Trix at Southsea (to which Trix had returned). Florence was to become the model for Maisie in Kipling's first novel, The Light that Failed (1891).[22]

Kipling's England: Map of England Showing Kipling's Homes

Towards the end of his stay at the school, it was decided that he lacked the academic ability to get into Oxford University on a scholarship[22] and his parents lacked the wherewithal to finance him;[16] consequently, Lockwood Kipling obtained a job for his son in Lahore (now in Pakistan), where Lockwood was now Principal of the Mayo College of Art and Curator of the Lahore Museum. Kipling was to be assistant editor of a small local newspaper, the Civil & Military Gazette.

He sailed for India on 20 September 1882 and arrived in Bombay on 18 October 1882. He described this moment years later: "So, at sixteen years and nine months, but looking four or five years older, and adorned with real whiskers which the scandalised Mother abolished within one hour of beholding, I found myself at Bombay where I was born, moving among sights and smells that made me deliver in the vernacular sentences whose meaning I knew not. Other Indian-born boys have told me how the same thing happened to them."[21] This arrival changed Kipling, as he explains, "There were yet three or four days’ rail to Lahore, where my people lived. After these, my English years fell away, nor ever, I think, came back in full strength".[21]

Early travels

The Civil and Military Gazette in Lahore, which Kipling was to call "mistress and most true love,"[21] appeared six days a week throughout the year except for a one-day break each for Christmas and Easter. Kipling was worked hard by the editor, Stephen Wheeler, but his need to write was unstoppable. In 1886, he published his first collection of verse, Departmental Ditties. That year also brought a change of editors at the newspaper. Kay Robinson, the new editor, allowed more creative freedom and Kipling was asked to contribute short stories to the newspaper.[4]

During the summer of 1883, Kipling visited Simla (now Shimla), well-known hill station and summer capital of British India. By then it was established practice for the Viceroy of India and the government to move to Simla for six months and the town became a "centre of power as well as pleasure."[4] Kipling's family became yearly visitors to Simla and Lockwood Kipling was asked to serve in the Christ Church there. He returned to Simla for his annual leave each year from 1885 to 1888, and the town figured prominently in many of the stories Kipling was writing for the Gazette.[4] Kipling describes this time: "My month’s leave at Simla, or whatever Hill Station my people went to, was pure joy—every golden hour counted. It began in heat and discomfort, by rail and road. It ended in the cool evening, with a wood fire in one’s bedroom, and next morn—thirty more of them ahead!—the early cup of tea, the Mother who brought it in, and the long talks of us all together again. One had leisure to work, too, at whatever play-work was in one’s head, and that was usually full."[21] Back in Lahore, some thirty-nine stories appeared in the Gazette between November 1886 and June 1887. Most of these stories were included in Plain Tales from the Hills, Kipling's first prose collection, which was published in Calcutta in January 1888, a month after his 22nd birthday. Kipling's time in Lahore, however, had come to an end. In November 1887, he had been transferred to the Gazette's much larger sister newspaper, The Pioneer, in Allahabad in the United Provinces.

Kipling in his study, 1895
Bundi, Rajputana, where Kipling was inspired to write Kim.

His writing continued at a frenetic pace and during the following year, he published six collections of short stories: Soldiers Three, The Story of the Gadsbys, In Black and White, Under the Deodars, The Phantom Rickshaw, and Wee Willie Winkie, containing a total of 41 stories, some quite long. In addition, as The Pioneer's special correspondent in western region of Rajputana, he wrote many sketches that were later collected in Letters of Marque and published in From Sea to Sea and Other Sketches, Letters of Travel.[4]

In early 1889, The Pioneer relieved Kipling of his charge over a dispute. For his part, Kipling had been increasingly thinking about the future. He sold the rights to his six volumes of stories for £200 and a small royalty, and the Plain Tales for £50; in addition, from The Pioneer, he received six-months' salary in lieu of notice.[21] He decided to use this money to make his way to London, the centre of the literary universe in the British Empire. On 9 March 1889, Kipling left India, travelling first to San Francisco via Rangoon, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan. He then travelled through the United States writing articles for The Pioneer that too were collected in From Sea to Sea and Other Sketches, Letters of Travel. Starting his American travels in San Francisco, Kipling journeyed north to Portland, Oregon; on to Seattle, Washington; up into Canada, to Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia; back into the U.S. to Yellowstone National Park; down to Salt Lake City; then east to Omaha, Nebraska and on to Chicago, Illinois; then to Beaver, Pennsylvania on the Ohio River to visit the Hill family; from there he went to Chautauqua with Professor Hill, and later to Niagara, Toronto, Washington, D.C., New York and Boston.[23] In the course of this journey he met Mark Twain in Elmira, New York, and felt much awed in his presence. Kipling then crossed the Atlantic, and reached Liverpool in October 1889. Soon thereafter, he made his début in the London literary world to great acclaim.[3]

Career as a writer



In London, Kipling had several stories accepted by various magazine editors. He also found a place to live for the next two years:

Meantime, I had found me quarters in Villiers Street, Strand, which forty-six years ago was primitive and passionate in its habits and population. My rooms were small, not over-clean or well-kept, but from my desk I could look out of my window through the fanlight of Gatti’s Music-Hall entrance, across the street, almost on to its stage. The Charing Cross trains rumbled through my dreams on one side, the boom of the Strand on the other, while, before my windows, Father Thames under the Shot Tower walked up and down with his traffic.

The building on Villiers Street off the Strand in London where Kipling rented rooms from 1889 to 1891

In the next two years, and in short order, he published a novel, The Light that Failed; had a nervous breakdown; and met an American writer and publishing agent, Wolcott Balestier, with whom he collaborated on a novel, The Naulahka (a title he uncharacteristically misspelt; see below).[16] In 1891, on the advice of his doctors, Kipling embarked on another sea voyage visiting South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and once again India. However, he cut short his plans for spending Christmas with his family in India when he heard of Wolcott Balestier's sudden death from typhoid fever, and immediately decided to return to London. Before his return, he had used the telegram to propose to and be accepted by Wolcott's sister Caroline (Carrie) Balestier, whom he had met a year earlier, and with whom he had apparently been having an intermittent romance.[16] Meanwhile, late in 1891, his collection of short stories of the British in India, Life's Handicap, was also published in London.

On 18 January 1892, Carrie Balestier (aged 29) and Rudyard Kipling (aged 26) were married in London, in the "thick of an influenza epidemic, when the undertakers had run out of black horses and the dead had to be content with brown ones."[21] The wedding was held at All Souls Church, Langham Place. Henry James gave the bride away.

United States

The couple settled upon a honeymoon that would take them first to the United States (including a stop at the Balestier family estate near Brattleboro, Vermont) and then on to Japan.[16] However, when the couple arrived in Yokohama, Japan, they discovered that their bank, The New Oriental Banking Corporation, had failed. Taking their loss in their stride, they returned to the U.S., back to Vermont—Carrie by this time was pregnant with their first child—and rented a small cottage on a farm near Brattleboro for ten dollars a month. According to Kipling, "We furnished it with a simplicity that fore-ran the hire-purchase system. We bought, second or third hand, a huge, hot-air stove which we installed in the cellar. We cut generous holes in our thin floors for its eight inch tin pipes (why we were not burned in our beds each week of the winter I never can understand) and we were extraordinarily and self-centredly content."[21]

In this cottage, Bliss Cottage, their first child, Josephine, was born "in three foot of snow on the night of 29 December 1892. Her Mother’s birthday being the 31st and mine the 30th of the same month, we congratulated her on her sense of the fitness of things ..."[21]

Cover of The Jungle Book first edition

It was also in this cottage that the first dawnings of the Jungle Books came to Kipling: "workroom in the Bliss Cottage was seven feet by eight, and from December to April the snow lay level with its window-sill. It chanced that I had written a tale about Indian Forestry work which included a boy who had been brought up by wolves. In the stillness, and suspense, of the winter of ’92 some memory of the Masonic Lions of my childhood’s magazine, and a phrase in Haggard’s Nada the Lily, combined with the echo of this tale. After blocking out the main idea in my head, the pen took charge, and I watched it begin to write stories about Mowgli and animals, which later grew into the Jungle Books".[21] With Josephine's arrival, Bliss Cottage was felt to be congested, so eventually the couple bought land—10 acres (40,000 m2) on a rocky hillside overlooking the Connecticut River—from Carrie's brother Beatty Balestier, and built their own house.

Kipling named the house "Naulakha" in honour of Wolcott and of their collaboration, and this time the name was spelled correctly.[16] From his early years in Lahore (1882-87), Kipling had become enthused by the Mughal architecture[24] especially the Naulakha pavilion situated in Lahore Fort, which eventually became an inspiration for the title of his novel as well as the house.[25] The house still stands on Kipling Road, three miles (5 km) north of Brattleboro in Dummerston: a big, secluded, dark-green house, with shingled roof and sides, which Kipling called his "ship", and which brought him "sunshine and a mind at ease."[16] His seclusion in Vermont, combined with his healthy "sane clean life", made Kipling both inventive and prolific.

Rudyard Kipling's America 1892–1896, 1899

In the short span of four years, he produced, in addition to the Jungle Books, the short story collection The Day's Work, the novel Captains Courageous, and a profusion of poetry, including the volume The Seven Seas. The collection of Barrack-Room Ballads, first published individually for the most part in 1890, which contains his poems "Mandalay" and "Gunga Din" was issued in March 1892. He especially enjoyed writing the Jungle Books—both masterpieces of imaginative writing—and enjoyed too corresponding with the many children who wrote to him about them.[16]

The writing life in Naulakha was occasionally interrupted by visitors, including his father, who visited soon after his retirement in 1893,[16] and British author Arthur Conan Doyle, who brought his golf-clubs, stayed for two days, and gave Kipling an extended golf lesson.[26][27] Kipling seemed to take to golf, occasionally practising with the local Congregational minister, and even playing with red painted balls when the ground was covered in snow.[14][27] However, the latter game was "not altogether a success because there were no limits to a drive; the ball might skid two miles (3 km) down the long slope to Connecticut river."[14]

From all accounts, Kipling loved the outdoors,[16] not least of whose marvels in Vermont was the turning of the leaves each fall. He described this moment in a letter: "A little maple began it, flaming blood-red of a sudden where he stood against the dark green of a pine-belt. Next morning there was an answering signal from the swamp where the sumacs grow. Three days later, the hill-sides as fast as the eye could range were afire, and the roads paved, with crimson and gold. Then a wet wind blew, and ruined all the uniforms of that gorgeous army; and the oaks, who had held themselves in reserve, buckled on their dull and bronzed cuirasses and stood it out stiffly to the last blown leaf, till nothing remained but pencil-shadings of bare boughs, and one could see into the most private heart of the woods."[28]

Photograph of Kipling from "Current History of the War v. I", December 1914 - March 1915. New York: New York Times Company

In February 1896, the couple's second daughter, Elsie, was born. By this time, according to several biographers, their marital relationship was no longer light-hearted and spontaneous.[29] Although they would always remain loyal to each other, they seemed now to have fallen into set roles.[16] In a letter to a friend who had become engaged around this time, the 30 year old Kipling offered this sombre counsel: marriage principally taught "the tougher virtues—such as humility, restraint, order, and forethought."[30]

Josephine, 1895

The Kiplings loved life in Vermont and might have lived out their lives there, were it not for two incidents—one of global politics, the other of family discord—that hastily ended their time there. By the early 1890s, the United Kingdom and Venezuela had long been locking horns over a border dispute involving British Guiana. Several times, the U.S. had offered to arbitrate, but in 1895 the new American Secretary of State Richard Olney upped the ante by arguing for the American "right" to arbitrate on grounds of sovereignty on the continent (see the Olney interpretation as an extension of the Monroe Doctrine).[16] This raised hackles in the UK and before long the incident had snowballed into a major Anglo-American crisis, with talk of war on both sides.

Although the crisis led to greater U.S.-British cooperation, at the time Kipling was bewildered by what he felt was persistent anti-British sentiment in the U.S., especially in the press.[16] He wrote in a letter that it felt like being "aimed at with a decanter across a friendly dinner table."[30] By January 1896, he had decided, according to his official biographer,[14] to end his family's "good wholesome life" in the U.S. and seek their fortunes elsewhere.

A family dispute became the final straw. For some time, the relations between Carrie and her brother Beatty Balestier had been strained on account of his drinking and insolvency. In May 1896, an inebriated Beatty ran into Kipling on the street and threatened him with physical harm.[16] The incident led to Beatty's eventual arrest, but in the subsequent hearing, and the resulting publicity, Kipling's privacy was completely destroyed, and left him feeling both miserable and exhausted. In July 1896, a week before the hearing was to resume, the Kiplings hurriedly packed their belongings and left Naulakha, Vermont, and the U.S. for good.[14]


Back in England, in September 1896, the Kiplings found themselves in Torquay on the coast of Devon, in a hillside home overlooking the sea. Although Kipling did not much care for his new house, whose design, he claimed, left its occupants feeling dispirited and gloomy, he managed to remain productive and socially active.[16] Kipling was now a famous man, and in the previous two or three years, had increasingly been making political pronouncements in his writings. His son, John, was born in August 1897. He had also begun work on two poems, "Recessional" (1897) and "The White Man's Burden" (1899) which were to create controversy when published. Regarded by some as anthems for enlightened and duty-bound empire-building (that captured the mood of the Victorian age), the poems equally were regarded by others as propaganda for brazenfaced imperialism and its attendant racial attitudes; still others saw irony in the poems and warnings of the perils of empire.[16]

Take up the White Man's burden—
Send forth the best ye breed—
Go, bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives' need;
To wait, in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild—
Your new-caught sullen peoples,
Half devil and half child.
- The White Man's Burden[31]

There was also foreboding in the poems, a sense that all could yet come to naught.[32]

Far-called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet.
Lest we forget - lest we forget!
- Recessional[33]

A prolific writer—nothing about his work was easily labelled—during his time in Torquay, he also wrote Stalky & Co., a collection of school stories (born of his experience at the United Services College in Westward Ho!) whose juvenile protagonists displayed a know-it-all, cynical outlook on patriotism and authority. According to his family, Kipling enjoyed reading aloud stories from Stalky & Co. to them, and often went into spasms of laughter over his own jokes.[16]

South Africa

Kipling in South Africa

In early 1898 Kipling and his family travelled to South Africa for their winter holiday, thus beginning an annual tradition which (excepting the following year) was to last until 1908. With his newly minted reputation as the poet of the Empire, Kipling was warmly received by some of the most influential politicians of the Cape Colony, including Cecil Rhodes, Sir Alfred Milner, and Leander Starr Jameson. In turn, Kipling cultivated their friendship and came to greatly admire all three men and their politics. The period 1898–1910 was a crucial one in the history of South Africa and included the Second Boer War (1899–1902), the ensuing peace treaty, and the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910. Back in England, Kipling wrote poetry in support of the British cause in the Boer War and on his next visit to South Africa in early 1900, he helped start a newspaper, The Friend, for the British troops in Bloemfontein, the newly captured capital of the Orange Free State. Although his journalistic stint was to last only two weeks, it was the first time Kipling would work on a newspaper staff since he left The Pioneer in Allahabad more than ten years earlier.[16] He also wrote articles published more widely expressing his views on the conflict.[34] Kipling penned an inscription for the Honoured Dead Memorial (Siege memorial) in Kimberley.


In 1902, Rudyard Kipling bought Batemans, a house built in 1634 in rural Burwash, East Sussex, England. The house, along with the surrounding buildings, the mill and 33 acres was purchased for £9,300. It had no bathroom, no running water upstairs and no electricity but Kipling loved it. "Behold us, lawful owners of a grey stone lichened house - A.D. 1634 over the door - beamed, panelled, with old oak staircase, and all untouched and unfaked. It is a good and peaceable place," he wrote in November 1902. "We have loved it ever since our first sight of it." [35][36]

Other writing

"He sat in defiance of municipal orders, astride the gun Zam-Zammeh, on her old platform, opposite the old Ajaibgher, the Wonder House, as the natives called the Lahore Museum".

Kipling began collecting material for another of his children's classics, Just So Stories for Little Children. That work was published in 1902, and another of his enduring works, Kim, first saw the light of day the previous year.

On a visit to the United States in 1899, Kipling and his eldest daughter Josephine developed pneumonia, from which she eventually died. During World War I, he wrote a booklet The Fringes of the Fleet[37] containing essays and poems on various nautical subjects of the war. Some of the poems were set to music by the English composer Edward Elgar.

Kipling wrote two science fiction short stories, With the Night Mail (1905) and As Easy As A. B. C (1912), both set in the 21st century in Kipling's Aerial Board of Control universe. These read like modern hard science fiction.[38]

In 1934 he published a short story in Strand Magazine, "Proofs of Holy Writ", which postulated that William Shakespeare had helped to polish the prose of the King James Bible.[39] In the non-fiction realm he also became involved in the debate over the British response to the rise in German naval power, publishing a series of articles in 1898 which were collected as A Fleet in Being.

Peak of his career

The first decade of the 20th century saw Kipling at the height of his popularity. In 1907 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. The prize citation said: "In consideration of the power of observation, originality of imagination, virility of ideas and remarkable talent for narration which characterize the creations of this world-famous author." Nobel prizes had been established in 1901 and Kipling was the first English language recipient. At the award ceremony in Stockholm on 10 December 1907, the Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, C. D. af Wirsén, praised both Kipling and three centuries of English literature:[40]

The Swedish Academy, in awarding the Nobel Prize in Literature this year to Rudyard Kipling, desires to pay a tribute of homage to the literature of England, so rich in manifold glories, and to the greatest genius in the realm of narrative that that country has produced in our times.

"Book-ending" this achievement was the publication of two connected poetry and story collections: Puck of Pook's Hill and Rewards and Fairies in 1906 and 1910 respectively. The latter contained the poem "If". In a 1995 BBC opinion poll, it was voted the UK's favourite poem. This exhortation to self-control and stoicism is arguably Kipling's most famous poem.

Kipling sympathised with the anti-Home Rule stance of Irish Unionists. He was friends with Edward Carson, the Dublin-born leader of Ulster Unionism, who raised the Ulster Volunteers to oppose "Home Rule" in Ireland. Kipling wrote the poem "Ulster" in 1912 reflecting this. Kipling was a staunch opponent of Bolshevism, a position he shared with his friend Henry Rider Haggard. The two had bonded upon Kipling's arrival in London in 1889 largely on the strength of their shared opinions, and they remained lifelong friends.

Many have wondered why he was never made Poet Laureate. Some claim that he was offered the post during the interregnum of 1892-96 and turned it down.

At the beginning of World War I, like many other writers, Kipling wrote pamphlets which enthusiastically supported the UK's war aims.

Effects of World War I

Kipling's only son John died in 1915 at the Battle of Loos, after which he wrote "If any question why we died/ Tell them, because our fathers lied." (Kipling's son's death inspired his poem, "My Boy Jack", and the incident became the basis for the play My Boy Jack and its subsequent television adaptation, along with the documentary Rudyard Kipling: A Remembrance Tale.) It is speculated that these words may reveal Kipling's feelings of guilt at his role in getting John a commission in the Irish Guards, despite his initially having been rejected by the army because of his poor eyesight, and his having exerted great influence to have his son accepted for officer training at the age of only 17.[41]

Kipling, aged 60, on the cover of Time magazine, 27 September 1926

Partly in response to this tragedy, Kipling joined Sir Fabian Ware's Imperial War Graves Commission (now the Commonwealth War Graves Commission), the group responsible for the garden-like British war graves that can be found to this day dotted along the former Western Front and all the other locations around the world where Commonwealth troops lie buried. His most significant contribution to the project was his selection of the biblical phrase "Their Name Liveth For Evermore" found on the Stones of Remembrance in larger war graves and his suggestion of the phrase "Known unto God" for the gravestones of unidentified servicemen. He also wrote a two-volume history of the Irish Guards, his son's regiment, that was published in 1923 and is considered to be one of the finest examples of regimental history.[42] Kipling's moving short story, "The Gardener", depicts visits to the war cemeteries, and the poem "The King's Pilgrimage" (1922) depicts a journey made by King George V, touring the cemeteries and memorials under construction by the Imperial War Graves Commission. With the increasing popularity of the automobile, Kipling became a motoring correspondent for the British press, and wrote enthusiastically of his trips around England and abroad, even though he was usually driven by a chauffeur.

In 1922, Kipling, who had made reference to the work of engineers in some of his poems and writings, was asked by a University of Toronto civil engineering professor for his assistance in developing a dignified obligation and ceremony for graduating engineering students. Kipling was very enthusiastic in his response and shortly produced both, formally entitled "The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer". Today, engineering graduates all across Canada are presented with an iron ring at the ceremony as a reminder of their obligation to society.[43] The same year Kipling became Lord Rector of St Andrews University in Scotland, a three-year position.

Death and legacy

Kipling kept writing until the early 1930s, but at a slower pace and with much less success than before. He died of a perforated duodenal ulcer on 18 January 1936,[44] two days before George V, at the age of 70. (His death had in fact previously been incorrectly announced in a magazine, to which he wrote, "I've just read that I am dead. Don't forget to delete me from your list of subscribers.")

Rudyard Kipling was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium and his ashes were buried in Poets' Corner, part of the South Transept of Westminster Abbey, where many distinguished literary people are buried or commemorated.

In 2010, the International Astronomical Union approved that a crater on the planet Mercury would be named after Kipling - one of ten newly discovered impact craters observed by the MESSENGER spacecraft in 2008-9. [45]

Posthumous reputation

Various writers, most notably Edmund Candler, were very strongly influenced by the works of Kipling. T. S. Eliot, a very different poet, edited A Choice of Kipling's Verse (1943), although in doing so he commented that "[Kipling] could write great poetry on occasions—even if only by accident." Kipling's stories for adults also remain in print and have garnered high praise from writers as different as Poul Anderson, Jorge Luis Borges, and George Orwell. His children's stories remain popular; and his Jungle Books have been made into several movies. The first was made by producer Alexander Korda, and other films have been produced by the Walt Disney Company. A number of his poems were set to music by Percy Grainger. A series of short films based on some of his stories was broadcast by the BBC in 1964.[46] Kipling's work continues to be highly popular today. His poem If— was voted The Nations Favourite Poem in a BBC 1995 opinion poll [47].

Links with Scouting

Photograph of General Sir Ian Hamilton, commander of the ill-fated Mediterranean Expeditionary Force in the Battle of Gallipoli in World War I, at Rudyard Kipling's funeral in 1936. Hamilton was a close personal friend of Kipling.

Kipling's links with the Scouting movements were strong. Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, used many themes from The Jungle Book stories and Kim in setting up his junior movement, the Wolf Cubs. These connections still exist today. Not only is the movement named after Mowgli's adopted wolf family, the adult helpers of Wolf Cub Packs adopt names taken from The Jungle Book, especially the adult leader who is called Akela after the leader of the Seeonee wolf pack.[48]

Kipling's home at Burwash

After the death of Kipling's wife in 1939, his house, "Bateman's" in Burwash, East Sussex was bequeathed to the National Trust and is now a public museum dedicated to the author. Elsie, the only one of his three children to live past the age of eighteen, died childless in 1976, and bequeathed his copyrights to the National Trust. There is a thriving Kipling Society in the United Kingdom and also one in Australia.

Sir Kingsley Amis, the novelist and poet, wrote a poem entitled 'Kipling at Bateman's', which was the product of a visit to his house in Burwash - a village where Amis' father had lived briefly in the 1960s. Amis and a BBC television crew went to make a short film in a series of films about writers and their houses. According to Zachary Leader's 'The Life of Kingsley Amis':

'Bateman's made a strong negative impression on the whole crew, and Amis decided that he would dislike spending even twenty-four hours there. The visit is recounted in Rudyard Kipling and his World (1975), a short study of Kipling's Life and Writings. Amis's view of Kipling's career is like his view of Chesterton's: the writing that mattered was early, in Kipling's case from the period 1885-1902. After 1902, the year of the move to Bateman's, not only did the work decline but Kipling found himself increasingly at odds with the world, changes Amis attributes in part to the depressing atmosphere of the house.[49]

Reputation in India

In modern-day India, whence he drew much of his material, his reputation remains controversial, especially amongst modern nationalists and some post-colonial critics. Other contemporary Indian intellectuals such as Ashis Nandy have taken a more nuanced view of his work. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, 1st Prime Minister of India, always described Kipling's novel Kim as his favourite book.[citation needed]

In November 2007, it was announced that his birthplace in the campus of the J J School of Art in Mumbai will be turned into a museum celebrating the author and his works.[50]

Swastika in old editions

A left-facing swastika
Covers of two of Kipling's books from 1919 (l) and 1930 (r)

Many older editions of Rudyard Kipling's books have a swastika printed on their covers associated with a picture of an elephant carrying a lotus flower. Since the 1930s this has raised the possibility of Kipling being mistaken for a Nazi-sympathiser, though the Nazi party did not adopt the swastika until 1920. Kipling's use of the swastika, was based on the Indian sun symbol conferring good luck and well-being; (the word derived from the Sanskrit word svastika meaning "auspicious object"). He used the swastika symbol in both right- and left-facing orientations, and it was in general use at the time.[51][52] Even before the Nazis came to power, Kipling ordered the engraver to remove it from the printing block so that he should not be thought of as supporting them. Less than one year before his death Kipling gave a speech (titled "An Undefended Island") to The Royal Society of St George on 6 May 1935 warning of the danger Nazi Germany posed to the UK.[53]


See also

  • List of people on the cover of Time Magazine: 1920s - 27 Sep. 1926


  1. ^ The Times, 18 January 1936, p.12
  2. ^ Pinney, Thomas (September 2004). H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. ed. ‘Kipling, (Joseph) Rudyard (1865–1936)’ (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ed.). Oxford University Press. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Rutherford, Andrew (1987). General Preface to the Editions of Rudyard Kipling, in "Puck of Pook's Hill and Rewards and Fairies", by Rudyard Kipling. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-282575-5
  4. ^ a b c d e Rutherford, Andrew (1987). Introduction to the Oxford World's Classics edition of "Plain Tales from the Hills", by Rudyard Kipling. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-281652-7
  5. ^ James Joyce considered Tolstoy, Kipling and D'Annunzio to be the "three writers of the nineteenth century who had the greatest natural talents", but that "he did not fulfill that promise". He also noted that the three writers all "had semi-fanatic ideas about religion, or about patriotism." Diary of David Fleischman, 21 July 1938, quoted in James Joyce by Richard Ellmann, p. 661, Oxford University Press (1983) ISBN 0-19-281465-6
  6. ^ Alfred Nobel Foundation. "Who is the youngest ever to receive a Nobel Prize, and who is the oldest?". p. 409. Retrieved 2006-09-30. 
  7. ^ Birkenhead, Lord. 1978. Rudyard Kipling, Appendix B, “Honours and Awards”. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London; Random House Inc., New York.
  8. ^ Lewis, Lisa. 1995. Introduction to the Oxford World's Classics edition of "Just So Stories", by Rudyard Kipling. Oxford University Press. pp.xv-xlii. ISBN 0-19-282276-4
  9. ^ Quigley, Isabel. 1987. Introduction to the Oxford World's Classics edition of "The Complete Stalky & Co.", by Rudyard Kipling. Oxford University Press. pp.xiii-xxviii. ISBN 0-19-281660-8
  10. ^ Said, Edward. 1993. Culture and Imperialism. London: Chatto & Windus. Page 196. ISBN 0-679-75054-1.
  11. ^ Sandison, Alan. 1987. Introduction to the Oxford World's Classics edition of Kim, by Rudyard Kipling. Oxford University Press. pp. xiii–xxx. ISBN 0-19-281674-8.
  12. ^ Orwell, George (2006-09-30). "Essay on Kipling". Retrieved 2006-09-30. 
  13. ^ Douglas Kerr, University of Hong Kong. "Rudyard Kipling." The Literary Encyclopedia. 30 May. 2002. The Literary Dictionary Company. 26 September 2006. [1]
  14. ^ a b c d e Carrington, Charles. 1955. Rudyard Kipling: His Life and Work. Macmillan and Company, London and New York.
  15. ^ Flanders, Judith. 2005. A Circle of Sisters: Alice Kipling, Georgiana Burne-Jones, Agnes Poynter, and Louisa Baldwin. W.W. Norton and Company, New York. ISBN 0-393-05210-9
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Gilmour, David. 2002. The Long Recessional: The Imperial Life of Rudyard Kipling, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, New York.
  17. ^ (2002-01-13). "did you know ....". The Retrieved 2006-10-02. 
  18. ^ Sir J.J. College of Architecture (2006-09-30). "Campus". Sir J. J. College of Architecture, Mumbai. Retrieved 2006-10-02. 
  19. ^ "To the City of Bombay", dedication to Seven Seas, by Rudyard Kipling, Macmillan and Company, 1894.
  20. ^ Murphy, Bernice M. (1999-06-21). "Rudyard Kipling - A Brief Biography". School of English, The Queen's University of Belfast. Retrieved 2006-10-06. 
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Kipling, Rudyard (1935). "Something of myself". public domain. Retrieved 2008-09-06. also: 1935/1990. Something of myself and other autobiographical writings. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-40584-X.
  22. ^ a b c d Carpenter, Henry and Mari Prichard. 1984. Oxford Companion to Children's Literature. pp. 296–297.
  23. ^ Pinney, Thomas (editor). Letters of Rudyard Kipling, volume 1. Macmillan and Company, London and New York.
  24. ^ Robert D. Kaplan (1989) Lahore as Kipling Knew It. The New York Times. Retrieved on 9 March 2008
  25. ^ Kipling, Rudyard (1996) Writings on Writing. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521445272. see p. 36 and p. 173
  26. ^ Mallet, Phillip. 2003. Rudyard Kipling: A Literary Life. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. ISBN 0-333-55721-2
  27. ^ a b Ricketts, Harry. 1999. Rudyard Kipling: A life. Carroll and Graf Publishers Inc., New York. ISBN 0-7867-0711-9.
  28. ^ Kipling, Rudyard. 1920. Letters of Travel (1892–1920). Macmillan and Company.
  29. ^ Nicholson, Adam. 2001. Carrie Kipling 1862-1939 : The Hated Wife. Faber & Faber, London. ISBN 0-571-20835-5
  30. ^ a b Pinney, Thomas (editor). Letters of Rudyard Kipling, volume 2. Macmillan and Company, London and New York.
  31. ^ Kipling, Rudyard. 1899. The White Man's Burden. Published simultaneously in The Times, London, and McClure's Magazine (U.S.) 12 February 1899.
  32. ^ Snodgrass, Chris. 2002. A Companion to Victorian Poetry. Blackwell, Oxford.
  33. ^ Kipling, Rudyard. 1897. Recessional. Published in The Times, London, July 1897.
  34. ^ Kipling, Rudyard (18 March 1900), "Kipling at Cape Town: Severe Arraignment of Treacherous Afrikanders and Demand for Condign Punishment By and By", The New York Times: 21, 
  35. ^ Charles Carrington (1956) The life of Rudyard Kipling Doubleday p286
  36. ^ Link to National Trust Site for Bateman House
  37. ^ The Fringes of the Fleet, Macmillan & Co. Ltd., London, 1916
  38. ^ Bennett, Arnold (1917). Books and Persons Being Comments on a Past Epoch 1908-1911. London: Chatto & Windus. 
  39. ^ Short Stories from the Strand, The Folio Society, 1992.
  40. ^ "Nobel Prize in Literature 1907 - Presentation Speech". Retrieved 2008-09-10. 
  41. ^ Webb, George. Foreword to: Kipling, Rudyard. The Irish Guards in the Great War. 2 vols. (Spellmount, 1997), p. 9.
  42. ^ Kipling, Rudyard. The Irish Guards in the Great War. 2 vols. (London, 1923)
  43. ^ "The Iron Ring<!- Bot generated title ->". Retrieved 2008-09-10. 
  44. ^ Rudyard Kipling's Waltzing Ghost: The Literary Heritage of Brown's Hotel, Sandra Jackson-Opoku, Literary Traveler
  45. ^ - Article from the Red Orbit News network 16 March 2010 accessed 2010-03-18
  46. ^
  48. ^ "ScoutBase UK: The Library - Scouting history - Me Too! - The history of Cubbing in the United Kingdom 1916-present<!- Bot generated title ->". Retrieved 2008-09-10. 
  49. ^ 'The Life of Kingsley Amis', Zachary Leader, Vintage, 2007 pp.704-705
  50. ^ "Kipling's India home to become museum". BBC News. 2007-11-27. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  51. ^ Schliemann, H, Troy and its remains, London: Murray, 1875, pp. 102, 119–20
  52. ^ Sarah Boxer. "One of the world's great symbols strives for a comeback". The New York Times, July 29, 2000.
  53. ^ Rudyard Kipling, War Stories and Poems (Oxford Paperbacks, 1999), pp. xxiv-xxv.

External links



Academic offices
Preceded by
Sir J. M. Barrie
Rector of the University of St Andrews
Succeeded by
Fridtjof Nansen


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.

Rudyard Kipling (30 December 186518 January 1936) was a British author and poet, born in India. In 1907, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, making him the first English language writer to receive the prize, and he remains today its youngest-ever recipient.



Puck of Pook's Hill

  • She has no strong white arms to fold you,
    But the ten-times-fingering weed to hold you —
    Out on the rocks where the tide has rolled you.
Out of the spent and unconsidered Earth,
The Cities rise again.
  • Cities and Thrones and Powers,
    Stand in Time's eye,
    Almost as long as flowers,
    Which daily die:
    But, as new buds put forth
    To glad new men,
    Out of the spent and unconsidered Earth,
    The Cities rise again.
  • Five and twenty ponies
    Trotting through the dark-
    Brandy for the Parson,
    'Baccy for the Clerk.
    Them that asks no questions isn't told a lie -
    Watch the wall, my darling, while the gentlemen go by!
  • Of all the trees that grow so fair,
    Old England to adorn,
    Greater are none beneath the Sun,
    Than Oak, and Ash, and Thorn.

Departmental Ditties and other Verses (1886)

  • I have eaten your bread and salt.
    I have drunk your water and wine.
    The deaths ye died I have watched beside
    And the lives ye led were mine.
  • I have written the tale of our life
    For a sheltered people's mirth,
    In jesting guise — but ye are wise,
    And ye know what the jest is worth.
    • Prelude Stanza 3
  • A fool there was and he made his prayer
    (Even as you and I!)
    To a rag and a bone and a hank of hair
    We called her the woman who did not care),
    But the fool he called her his lady fair
    (Even as you and I!)
  • Call a truce, then, to our labors — let us feast with friends and neighbors,
    And be merry as the custom of our caste;
    For if “faint and forced the laughter,” and if sadness follow after,
    We are richer by one mocking Christmas past.
  • The toad beneath the harrow knows
    Exactly where each tooth point goes;
    The butterfly upon the road
    Preaches contentment to that toad.
  • And a woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget — lest we forget!


  • God of our fathers, known of old,
    Lord of our far-flung battle line,
    Beneath whose awful hand we hold
    Dominion over palm and pine —
    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
    Lest we forget — lest we forget!
    • Stanza 1
  • The tumult and the shouting dies;
    The Captains and the Kings depart;
    Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
    An humble and a contrite heart.
    • Stanza 2
  • If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
    Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe,
    Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
    Or lesser breeds without the Law —
    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
    Lest we forget — lest we forget!
    • Stanza 4
  • * For heathen heart that puts its faith
    in reeking tube and iron shard,
    all valiant dust that builds on dust
    and guarding calls not thee to guard
    for foolish boast and frantic word
    thy mercy on thy people lord!
    • Stanza 5

Plain Tales from the Hills (1888)

  • It takes a great deal of Christianity to wipe out uncivilized Eastern instincts, such as falling in love at first sight.
  • The silliest woman can manage a clever man; but it needs a very clever woman to manage a fool!
  • Never praise a sister to a sister, in the hope of your compliments reaching the proper ears, and so preparing the way for you later on. Sisters are women first, and sisters afterwards; and you will find that you do yourself harm.
  • Many religious people are deeply suspicious. They seem — for purely religious purposes, of course — to know more about iniquity than the unregenerate.
  • He did his best to interest the girl in himself—that is to say, his work—and she, after the manner of women, did her best to appear interested in, what behind his back, she called "Mr. Wressley's Wajahs"; for she lisped very prettily. She did not understand one little thing about them, but she acted as if she did. Men have married on that sort of error before now.
  • She read a little of it. I give her review verbatim:—"Oh, your book? It's all about those how-wid Wajahs. I didn't understand it."
    • Wressley of the Foreign Office

Life's Handicap (1891)

  • East of Suez, some hold, the direct control of Providence ceases; Man being there handed over to the power of the Gods and Devils of Asia, and the Church of England Providence only exercising an occasional and modified supervision in the case of Englishmen.
  • All gods have good points, just as have all priests. Personally, I attach much importance to Hanuman, and am kind to his people—the great gray apes of the hills. One never knows when one may want a friend.
    • The Mark of the Beast
  • 'Take your friend away. He has done with Hanuman, but Hanuman has not done with him.'
    • The Mark of the Beast

Barrack-Room Ballads (1892, 1896)

  • And oft-times cometh our wise Lord God, master of every trade,
    And tells them tales of His daily toil, of Edens newly made;
    And they rise to their feet as He passes by, gentlemen unafraid.
    • Dedication, Stanza 5
  • I've taken my fun where I've found it;
    I've rogued an' I've ranged in my time.
  • An' I learned about women from 'er.
    • The Ladies, ending line to Stanzas III, IV, and V.
  • I've taken my fun where I've found it,
    An' now I must pay for my fun,
    For the more you 'ave known o' the others
    The less will you settle to one.
    • The Ladies, Stanza VII.
  • For the colonel's lady an' Judy O'Grady,
    Are sisters under their skins.
    • The Ladies, Stanza VIII.
  • “What are the bugles blowin' for?” said Files-on-Parade.
    “To turn you out, to turn you out”, the Colour-Sergeant said.
  • They've taken of his buttons off an' cut his stripes away,
    An' they're hangin' Danny Deever in the mornin'.
    • Danny Deever, Stanza 1
  • But he could n't lie if you paid him and he'd starve before he stole. The Mary Gloster.
    • Danny Deever.
  • We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
    But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
    An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
    Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints.
  • For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' “Chuck him out, the brute!”
    But it's “Saviour of 'is country” when the guns begin to shoot.
    • Tommy, Stanza 5
  • So 'ere's to you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, at your 'ome in the Soudan;
    You're a pore benighted 'eathen but a first-class fightin' man.
  • 'E's all 'ot sand an' ginger when alive
    An' 'e's generally shammin' when 'e's dead.
    • Fuzzy-Wuzzy.
  • For you all love the screw-guns the screw-guns they all love you!
    So when we take tea with a few guns, o' course you will know what to do — hoo! hoo!
    Jest send in your Chief an' surrender it's worse if you fights or you runs:
    You may hide in the caves, they'll be only your graves, but you can't get away from the guns!
  • You may talk o' gin and beer
    When you're quartered safe out 'ere,
    An' you're sent to penny-fights an' Aldershot it;
    But when it comes to slaughter
    You will do your work on water,
    An' you'll lick the bloomin' boots of 'im that's got it.
  • So I'll meet 'im later on
    At the place where 'e is gone —
    Where it's always double drill and no canteen.
    'E'll be squattin' on the coals
    Givin' drink to poor damned souls,
    An' I'll get a swig in hell from Gunga Din!
    Yes, Din! Din! Din!
    You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!
    Though I've belted you and flayed you,
    By the livin' Gawd that made you,
    You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!
    • Gunga Din, Stanza 5
  • 'Ave you 'eard o' the Widow at Windsor
    With a hairy gold crown on 'er 'ead?
    She 'as ships on the foam — she 'as millions at 'ome,
    An' she pays us poor beggars in red.
  • When first under fire an' you're wishful to duck,
    Don't look nor take 'eed at the man that is struck,
    Be thankful you're livin', and trust to your luck
    And march to your front like a soldier.
    Front, front, front like a soldier...
  • If your officer's dead and the sergeants look white,
    Remember it's ruin to run from a fight:
    So take open order, lie down, and sit tight,
    And wait for supports like a soldier.
    Wait, wait, wait like a soldier...
    • Young British Soldier, Stanza 12
  • When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
    An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.
    Go, go, go like a soldier,
    Go, go, go like a soldier,
    Go, go, go like a soldier,
    So-oldier of the Queen!
    • Young British Soldier, Stanza 13
  • Oh the road to Mandalay
    Where the flyin'-fishes play
    An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer
    China 'crost the Bay!
  • By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin' eastward to the sea,
    There's a Burma girl a-settin', and I know she thinks o' me;
    For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say:
    “Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!”
    • Mandalay, Stanza 1
  • Ship me somewheres east of Suez, where the best is like the worst,
    Where there aren't no Ten Commandments, an' a man can raise a thirst.
    • Mandalay, Stanza 6
  • To the legion of the lost ones, to the cohort of the damned,
    To my brethren in their sorrow overseas,
    Sings a gentleman of England cleanly bred, machinely crammed,
    And a trooper of the Empress, if you please.
  • We're poor little lambs who've lost our way,
    Baa! Baa! Baa!
    We're little black sheep who've gone astray,
    Baa — aa — aa!
    Gentlemen-rankers out on the spree,
    Damned from here to Eternity,
    God ha' mercy on such as we,
    Baa! Yah! Bah!
    • Gentlemen-Rankers, refrain
  • We have done with Hope and Honour, we are lost to Love and Truth,
    We are dropping down the ladder rung by rung,
    And the measure of our torment is the measure of our youth.
    God help us, for we knew the worst too young!
    • Gentlemen-Rankers, Stanza 4
  • For to admire an' for to see,
    For to be'old this world so wide —
    It never done no good to me,
    But I can't drop it if I tried!

The Jungle Book (1894)

  • ‘There is none like to me !' says the Cub in the pride of his earliest kill;
    But the jungle is large and the Cub he is small. Let him think and be still.
  • We be of one blood, ye and I.
    • Kaa's Hunting
Now this is the Law of the Jungle — as old and as true as the sky;
And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.

The Second Jungle Book (1895)

  • Now this is the Law of the Jungle — as old and as true as the sky;
    And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.

    As the creeper that girdles the tree trunk, the Law runneth forward and back;
    For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.

  • When Pack meets with Pack in the Jungle, and neither will go from the trail,
    Lie down till the leaders have spoken — it may be fair words shall prevail.
    • The Law of the Jungle, Stanza 6
  • Now these are the Laws of the jungle, and many and mighty are they;
    But the head and the hoof of the Law and the haunch and the hump is — Obey!
    • The Law of the Jungle, Stanza 19

If— (1896)

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it...
Online text at Wikisource
  • If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
    And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise.
    • Stanza 1
  • If you can dream — and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think — and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two imposters just the same
    • Stanza 2
  • If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breath a word about your loss.
    • Stanza 3
  • If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings — nor lose the common touch
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
    And — which is more — you'll be a Man, my son!
    • Stanza 4

Just So Stories (1902)

  • When the cabin port-holes are dark and green
    Because of the seas outside;
    When the ship goes wop (with a wiggle between)
    And the steward falls into the soup-tureen,
    And the trunks begin to slide;
    When Nursey lies on the floor in a heap,
    And Mummy tells you to let her sleep,
    And you aren't waked or washed or dressed,
    Why, then you will know (if you haven't guessed)
    You're ‘Fifty North and Forty West!'
  • I keep six honest serving-men:
    (They taught me all I knew)
    Their names are What and Where and When
    And How and Why and Who.

Rewards and Fairies (1910)

  • Take of English earth as much
    As either hand may rightly clutch.
    In the taking of it breathe
    Prayer for all who lie beneath.

Epitaphs of the War (1914-1918) (1918)

  • If any question why we died,
    Tell them, because our fathers lied.
    • Common Form
  • Body and spirit I surrendered whole
    To harsh instructors- and received a soul...
    If mortal man could change me through and through
    From all I was - What may the God not do?
    • The Wonder
  • This man in his own country prayed we know not to what powers.
    We pray them to reward him for his bravery in ours.
    • Hindu Sepoy in France
  • From little towns in a far land we came,
    To save our honor and a world aflame.
    By little towns in a far land we sleep,
    And trust the world we won for you to keep.
    • Canadian Memorial (2)
  • I could not dig: I dared not rob:
    Therefore I lied to please the mob.

    Now all my lies are proved untrue
    And I must face the men I slew.
    What tale shall serve me here among
    Mine angry and defrauded young?
    • A Dead Statesman

Other works

  • But that's another story.
    • Soldiers Three, The Story of the Gadsbys, In Black and White (1888) .
  • In the flush of the hot June prime,
    O'ersleek flood-tides afire,
    I hear him hurry the chime
    To the bidding of checked Desire;
    Till the sweated ringers tire
    And the wild bob-majors die.
    Could I wait for my turn in the godly choir?
    (Shoal! 'Ware shoal!) Not I!
  • Enough work to do, and strength enough to do the work.
    • A Doctor's Work, an address at Middlesex Hospital (October 1908)
  • Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
  • For undemocratic reasons and for motives not of State,
    They arrive at their conclusions — largely inarticulate.
    Being void of self-expression they confide their views to none:
    But sometimes in a smoking-room, one learns why things were done.
  • For all we have and are,
    For all our children's fate,
    Stand up and take the war.
    The Hun is at the gate!
No easy hope or lies
Shall bring us to our goal,
But iron sacrifice
Of body, will, and soul.
  • No easy hope or lies
    Shall bring us to our goal,
    But iron sacrifice
    Of body, will, and soul.

    There is but one task for all —
    One life for each to give.
    What stands if Freedom fall?
    Who dies if England live?
    • For All We Have and Are, Stanza 4
  • As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race,
    I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market-Place.

    Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.
  • Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.
    • Speech, quoted in The Times (February 15, 1923)
  • Never again will I spend another winter in this accursed bucketshop of a refrigerator called England.
    • Letter to Sidney Colvin (1928)
  • A people always ends by resembling its shadow.
    • Said to author and critic André Maurois c. 1930, on the subject of the transformation of Germany.
    • Quoted in Maurois, The Art of Writing, “The Writer's Craft,” sct. 2 (1960)
Four things greater than all things are, —
Women and Horses and Power and War.
  • When your Daemon is in charge, do not try to think consciously. Drift, wait, and obey.
    • Something of Myself for My Friends Known and Unknown, ch. 8 (1937)
  • There be triple ways to take, of the eagle or the snake,
    Or the way of a man with a maid
    But the fairest way to me is a ship's upon the sea
    In the heel of the North-East Trade.
  • Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees
    That half a proper gardener's work is done upon his knees,
    So when your work is finished, you can wash your hands and pray
    For the Glory of the Garden that it may not pass away!
  • Father, Mother, and Me,
    Sister and Auntie say
    All the people like us are We,
    And every one else is They.
  • We and They, Stanza 1
  • Now I possess and am possessed of the land where I would be,
    And the curve of half Earth's generous breast shall soothe and ravish me!
Be humble, as you crawl beneath our rods! —
Our touch can alter all created things,
We are everything on earth — except The Gods!
  • But remember, please, the Law by which we live,
    We are not built to comprehend a lie,
    We can neither love nor pity nor forgive,
    If you make a slip in handling us you die!

    We are greater than the Peoples or the Kings —
    Be humble, as you crawl beneath our rods! —
    Our touch can alter all created things,
    We are everything on earth — except The Gods!
  • Though our smoke may hide the Heavens from your eyes,
    It will vanish and the stars will shine again,
    Because, for all our power and weight and size,
    We are nothing more than children of your brain!
    • The Secret of the Machines, Stanza 8
  • There rise her timeless capitals of Empires daily born,
    Whose plinths are laid at midnight, and whose streets are packed at morn;
    And here come hired youths and maids that feign to love or sin
    In tones like rusty razor-blades to tunes like smitten tin.
  • More men are killed by overwork than the importance of the world justifies.
Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet...
  • Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
    Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;

    But there is neither East nor West, border, nor breed, nor birth,
    When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!
  • When the flush of a new-born sun fell first on Eden's green and gold,
    Our father Adam sat under the Tree and scratched with a stick in the mould;
    And the first rude sketch that the world had seen was joy to his mighty heart,
    Till the Devil whispered behind the leaves, “It's pretty, but is it Art?”
  • We know that the tail must wag the dog, for the horse is drawn by the cart;
    But the Devil whoops, as he whooped of old: “It's clever, but is it Art?”
    • The Conundrum of the Workshops, Stanza 6
  • Bite on the bullet, old man, and don't let them think you're afraid.
  • San Francisco is a mad city — inhabited for the most part by perfectly insane people, whose women are of a remarkable beauty.
Asia is not going to be civilised after the methods of the West. There is too much Asia and she is too old.
  • Asia is not going to be civilised after the methods of the West. There is too much Asia and she is too old.
  • Winds of the World, give answer! They are whimpering to and fro —
    And what should they know of England who only England know?
  • “Stand up, stand up now, Tomlinson, and answer loud and high
    “The good that ye did for the sake of men or ever ye came to die —
    “The good that ye did for the sake of men in little earth so lone!”
    And the naked soul of Tomlinson grew white as a rain-washed bone.
  • “Go back to Earth with a lip unsealed — go back with an open eye,
    “And carry my word to the Sons of Men or ever ye come to die:
    “That the sin they do by two and two they must pay for one by one —
    “And the God that you took from a printed book be with you, Tomlinson!”
    • Tomlinson, l. 58-61
  • If I were damned of body and soul,
    I know whose prayers would make me whole,
    Mother o' mine, O mother o' mine.
When Earth's last picture is painted and the tubes are twisted and dried...
  • And the end of the fight is a tombstone white, with the name of the late deceased,
    And the epitaph drear: ‘A fool lies here who tried to hustle the East.'
  • When Earth's last picture is painted and the tubes are twisted and dried,
    When the oldest colours have faded, and the youngest critic has died,
    We shall rest, and, faith, we shall need it — lie down for an aeon or two,
    Till the Master of All Good Workmen shall put us to work anew!
Each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
Shall draw the Thing as he sees It for the God of Things as They Are!
  • And only the Master shall praise us, and only the Master shall blame;
    And no one shall work for money, and no one shall work for fame,
    But each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
    Shall draw the Thing as he sees It for the God of Things as They Are!
    • When Earth's Last Picture Is Painted, Stanza 3
  • Ever the wide world over, lass,
    Ever the trail held true,
    Over the world and under the world,
    And back at the last to you.
  • When next he came to me he was drunk — royally drunk on many poets for the first time revealed to him. His pupils were dilated, his words tumbled over each other, and he wrapped himself in quotations — as a beggar would enfold himself in the purple of emperors.
  • We pulled for you when the wind was against us and the sails were low.
    Will you never let us go?
  • When 'Omer smote 'is bloomin' lyre,
    He'd 'eard men sing by land an' sea;
    An' what he thought 'e might require,
    'E went an' took — the same as me!
  • Back to the Army again, sergeant,
    Back to the Army again:
    Out o' the cold an' the rain, sergeant,
    Out o' the cold an' the rain.
  • They change their skies above them,
    But not their hearts that roam!
  • The Liner she's a lady, an' she never looks nor 'eeds —
    The Man-o'-War's 'er 'usband, an' 'e gives 'er all she needs;
    But, oh, the little cargo-boats, that sail the wet seas roun',
    They're just the same as you an' me a-plyin' up an' down!
  • I've taken my fun where I've found it;
    I've rogued an' I've ranged in my time;
    I've 'ad my pickin' o' sweet'earts,
    An' four o' the lot was prime.
    One was an 'arf-caste widow,
    One was a woman at Prome,
    One was the wife of a jemadar-sais,
    An' one is a girl at 'ome.
  • There's a Legion that never was 'listed,
    That carries no colours or crest,
    But, split in a thousand detachments,
    Is breaking the road for the rest.
There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays,
And every single one of them is right!
  • There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays,
    And every single one of them is right!
  • For ‘im that doth not work must surely die;
    But that's no reason man should labour all
    ‘Is life on one same shift — life's none so long.
  • It's like a book, I think, this bloomin' world,
    Which you can read and care for just so long,
    But presently you feel that you will die
    Unless you get the page you're readin' done,
    An' turn another — likely not so good;
    But what you're after is to turn 'em all.
    • Sestina of the Tramp-Royal, Stanza 6
We have fed our sea for a thousand years
And she calls us, still unfed...
  • We have fed our sea for a thousand years
    And she calls us, still unfed,
    Though there's never a wave of all her waves
    But marks our English dead.
  • A Nation spoke to a Nation,
    A Queen sent word to a Throne:
    ‘Daughter am I in my mother's house,
    But mistress in my own.
    The gates are mine to open,
    As the gates are mine to close,
    And I set my house in order,'
    Said our Lady of the Snows.
  • Take up the White Man's burden —
    Send forth the best ye breed —
    Go bind your sons to exile
    To serve your captives' need.
  • It was our fault, and our very great fault — and now we must turn it to use.
    We have forty million reasons for failure, but not a single excuse.
    • [[s:The Lesson (Kipling)|The Lesson], Stanza 8 (1899-1902)
  • “True. True talk,” said Kim solemnly. “Fools speak of a cat when a woman is brought to bed, for instance. I have heard them.”
    • Kim, Chapter 8 (1901)
  • And what did ye look they should compass?
    Warcraft learned in a breath,
    Knowledge unto occasion at the first far view of Death?
    So? And ye train your horses and the dogs ye feed and prize?
    How are the beasts more worthy than the souls, your sacrifice?
    But ye said, “Their valour shall show them”; but ye said, “The end is close.”
    And ye sent them comfits and pictures to help them harry your foes:
    And ye vaunted your fathomless power, and ye flaunted your iron pride,
    Ere — ye fawned on the Younger Nations for the men who could shoot and ride!
    Then ye returned to your trinkets; then ye contented your souls
    With the flannelled fools at the wicket or the muddied oafs at the goals.
God gave all men all earth to love,
But since our hearts are small,
Ordained for each one spot should prove
Belovèd over all.
  • Men, not children or servants, tempered and taught to the end;
    Cleansed of servile panic, slow to dread or despise,
    Humble because of knowledge, mighty by sacrifice.
    • The Islanders, l. 55-57
  • God gave all men all earth to love,
    But since our hearts are small,
    Ordained for each one spot should prove
    Belovèd over all.
  • Who hath desired the Sea? — the sight of salt water unbounded —
    The heave and the halt and the hurl and the crash of the comber wind-hounded?
  • Something hidden. Go and find it. Go and look behin the Ranges —
    Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you. Go!
  • Boots — boots — boots — boots — movin' up and down again!
    There's no discharge in the war!
  • That's the secret. 'Tisn't beauty, so to speak, nor good talk necessarily. It's just It. Some women'll stay in a man's memory if they once walk down a street.
  • I speak now from my home and from my heart to you all; to men and women so cut off by the snows, the desert, or the sea, that only voices out of the air can reach them.

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:
Wikisource has original works written by or about:



1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

RUDYARD KIPLING (1865-), British author, was born in Bombay on the 30th of December 1865. His father, John Lockwood Kipling (b. 1837), an artist of considerable ability, was from 1875 to 1893 curator of the Lahore museum in India. His mother was Miss Alice Macdonald of Birmingham, two of whose sisters were married respectively to Sir E. Burne-Jones and Sir Edward Poynter. He was educated at the United Services College, Westward Ho, North Devon, of which a somewhat lurid account is given in his story Stalky and Co. On his return to India he became at the age of seventeen the sub-editor of the Lahore Civil and Military Gazette. In 1886, in his twentyfirst year, he published Departmental Ditties, a volume of light verse chiefly satirical, only in two or three poems giving promise of his authentic poetical note. In 1887 he published Plain Tales from the Hills, a collection mainly of the stories contributed to his own journal. During the next two years he brought out, in six slim paper-covered volumes of Wheeler's Railway Library (Allahabad), Soldiers Three, The Story of the Gadsbys, In Black and White, Under the Deodars, The Phantom 'Rickshaw and Wee Willie Winkee, at a rupee apiece. These were in form and substance a continuation of the Plain Tales. This series of tales, all written before the author was twenty-four, revealed a new master of fiction. A few, but those the best, he afterwards said that his father gave him. The rest were the harvest of his own powers of observation vitalized by imagination. In method they owed something to Bret Harte; in matter and spirit they were absolutely original. They were unequal, as his books continued to be throughout; the sketches of Anglo-Indian social life being generally inferior to the rest. The style was to some extent disfigured by jerkiness and mannered tricks. But Mr .Kipling possessed the supreme spell of the story-teller to entrance and transport. The freshness of the invention, the variety of character, the vigour of narrative, the raciness of dialogue, the magic of atmosphere, were alike remarkable. The soldier-stories, especially the exuberant vitality of the cycle which contains the immortal Mulvaney, established the author's fame throughout the world. The child-stories and tales of the British official were not less masterly, while the tales of native life and of adventure "beyond the pale" disclosed an even finer and deeper vein of romance. India, which had been an old story for generations of Englishmen, was revealed in these brilliant pictures as if seen for the first time in its variety, colour and passion, vivid as mirage, enchanting as the Arabian Nights. The new author's talent was quickly recognized in India, but it was not till the books reached England that his true rank was appreciated and proclaimed. Between 1887 and 1889 he travelled through India, China, Japan and America, finally arriving in England to find himself already famous. His travel sketches, contributed to The Civil and Military Gazette and The Pioneer, were afterwards collected (the author's hand having been forced by unauthorized publication) in the two volumes From Sea to Sea (1899). A further set of Indian tales, equal to the best, appeared in Macmillan's Magazine and were republished with others in Life's Handicap (189;). In The Light that Failed (1891, after appearing with a different ending in Lippincott's Magazine) Mr Kipling essayed his first long story (dramatized 1905), but with comparative unsuccess. In his subsequent work his delight in the display of descriptive and verbal technicalities grew on him. His polemic against "the sheltered life" and "little Englandism" became more didactic. His terseness sometimes degenerated into abruptness and obscurity. But in the meanwhile his genius became prominent in verse. Readers of the Plain Tales had been impressed by the snatches of poetry prefixed to them for motto, certain of them being subscribed "Barrack Room Ballad." Mr Kipling now contributed to the National Observer, then edited by W. E. Henley, a series of Barrack Room Ballads. These vigorous verses in soldier slang, when published in a book in 1892, together with the fine ballad of "East and West" and other poems, won for their author a second fame, wider than he had attained as a story-teller. In this volume the Ballads of the "Bolivar" and of the "Clampherdown," introducing Mr Kipling's poetry of the ocean and the engine-room, and "The Flag of England," finding a voice for the Imperial sentiment, which - largely under the influence of Mr Kipling's own writings - had been rapidly gaining force in England, gave the key-note of much of his later verse. In 1898 Mr Kipling paid the first of several visits to South Africa and became imbued with a type of imperialism that reacted on his literature, not altogether to its advantage. Before finally settling in England Mr Kipling lived some years in America and married in 1892 Miss Caroline Starr Balestier, sister of the Wolcott Balestier to whom he dedicated Barrack Room Ballads, and with whom in collaboration he wrote the Naulahka (1891), one of his less successful books. The next collection of stories, Many Inventions (1893), contained the splendid Mulvaney extravaganza, "My Lord the Elephant"; a vividly realized tale of metempsychosis, "The Finest Story in the World"; and in that fascinating tale "In the Rukh," the prelude to the next new exhibition of the author's genius. This came in 1894 with The Jungle Book, followed in 1895 by The Second Jungle Book. With these inspired beast-stories Kipling conquered a new world and a new audience, and produced what many critics regard as his most flawless work. His chief subsequent publications were The Seven Seas (poems), 1896; Captains Courageous (a yarn of deep-sea fishery), 1897; The Day's Work (collected stories), 1898; A Fleet in Being (an account of a cruise in a man-of-war), 1898; Stalky and Co. (mentioned above), 1899; From Sea to Sea (mentioned above),1899; Kim,'1901; Just So Stories (for children), 1902; The Five Nations (poems, concluding with what proved Mr Kipling's most universally known and popular poem, "Recessional," originally published in The Times on the 17th of July 1897 on the occasion of Queen Victoria's second jubilee), 1903; Trafcs and Discoveries (collected stories), 1904; Puck of Pook's Hill (stories), 1906; Actions and Reactions (stories), 1909. Of these Kim was notable as far the most successful of Mr Kipling's longer narratives, though it is itself rather in the nature of a string of episodes. But everything he wrote, even to a farcical extravaganza inspired by his enthusiasm for the motor-car, breathed the meteoric energy that was the nature of the man. A vigorous and unconventional poet, a pioneer in the modern phase of literary Imperialism, and one of the rare masters in English prose of the art of the short story, Mr Kipling had already by the opening of the 10th century won the most conspicuous place among the creative literary forces of his day. His position in English literature was recognized in 1907 by the award to him of the Nobel prize.

See Rudyard Kipling's chapter in My First Book (Chatto, 18 94); "A Bibliography of Rudyard Kipling," by John Lane, in Rudyard Kipling: a Criticism, by Richard de Gallienne; "Mr Kipling's Short Stories" in Questions at Issue, by Edmund Gosse (1893); "Mr Kipling's Stories" in Essays in Little, by Andrew Lang; "Mr Kipling's Stories," by J. M. Barrie in the Contemporary Review (March 1891); articles in the Quarterly Review (July 1892) and Edinburgh Review (Jan. 1898); and section on Kipling in Poets of the Younger Generation, by William Archer (1902). See also for bibliography to 1903 English Illustrated Magazine, new series, vol. xxx. pp. 298 and 429-432. (W. P. J.)

<< Kiowas

Kipper >>

Simple English

[[File:|thumb|right|Rudyard Kipling]]

Joseph Rudyard Kipling (December 30, 1865 - January 18, 1936) was an English author and poet. He wrote the children's book The Jungle Book. He also wrote the well-known poems, If — and Gunga Din.

Kipling is buried in Westminster Abbey.


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address