Rudyard Kipling: A Literary Life

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Both were set in the 21st century in Kipling's Aerial Board of Control universe. They read like modern hard science fiction , [59] and introduced the literary technique known as indirect exposition , which would later become one of science fiction writer Robert Heinlein 's hallmarks. This technique is one that Kipling picked up in India, and used to solve the problem of his English readers not understanding much about Indian society, when writing The Jungle Book.

In , he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, having been nominated in that year by Charles Oman , professor at the University of Oxford. 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. To "book-end" this achievement came the publication of two connected poetry and story collections: Puck of Pook's Hill , and Rewards and Fairies The latter contained the poem " If— ".

Such was Kipling's popularity that he was asked by his friend Max Aitken to intervene in the Canadian election on behalf of the Conservatives. On 7 September , the Montreal Daily Star newspaper published a front-page appeal against the agreement by Kipling, who wrote: "It is her own soul that Canada risks today.

KIPLING, (Joseph) Rudyard

Once that soul is pawned for any consideration, Canada must inevitably conform to the commercial, legal, financial, social, and ethical standards which will be imposed on her by the sheer admitted weight of the United States. Over the next week, Kipling's appeal was reprinted in every English newspaper in Canada and is credited with helping to turn Canadian public opinion against the Liberal government.

Kipling wrote in a letter to a friend that Ireland was not a nation, and that before the English arrived in , the Irish were a gang of cattle thieves living in savagery and killing each other while "writing dreary poems" about it all. In his view it was only British rule that allowed Ireland to advance.

He wrote that the Irish countryside was beautiful, but spoiled by what he called the ugly homes of Irish farmers, with Kipling adding that God had made the Irish into poets having "deprived them of love of line or knowledge of colour".

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Kipling wrote the poem " Ulster " in , reflecting his Unionist politics. Kipling often referred to the Irish Unionists as "our party". Asquith that would plunge Ireland into the Dark Ages and allow the Irish Catholic majority to oppress the Protestant minority. Kipling was a staunch opponent of Bolshevism , a position which he shared with his friend Henry Rider Haggard.

The two had bonded on Kipling's arrival in London in largely due to their shared opinions, and remained lifelong friends. According to the English magazine Masonic Illustrated , Kipling became a Freemason in about , before the usual minimum age of 21, [70] being initiated into Hope and Perseverance Lodge No.


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I was entered [as an Apprentice] by a member from Brahmo Somaj , a Hindu , passed [to the degree of Fellow Craft] by a Mohammedan , and raised [to the degree of Master Mason] by an Englishman. Our Tyler was an Indian Jew. Kipling so loved his Masonic experience that he memorialised its ideals in his poem "The Mother Lodge", [70] and used the fraternity and its symbols as vital plot devices in his novella The Man Who Would Be King. At the beginning of the First World War , like many other writers, Kipling wrote pamphlets and poems enthusiastically supporting the UK war aims of restoring Belgium, after it had been occupied by Germany , together with generalised statements that Britain was standing up for the cause of good.

In September , Kipling was asked by the government to write propaganda , an offer that he accepted. Today, there are only two divisions in the world Alongside his passionate antipathy towards Germany , Kipling was privately deeply critical of how the war was being fought by the British Army , complaining as early as October that Germany should have been defeated by now, and something must be wrong with the British Army.

Rudyard Kipling

Thus thousands of British soldiers were now paying with their lives for their failure in the fields of France and Belgium. Kipling had scorn for men who shirked duty in the First World War. This much we can realise, even though we are so close to it, the old safe instinct saves us from triumph and exultation.


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But what will be the position in years to come of the young man who has deliberately elected to outcaste himself from this all-embracing brotherhood? What of his family, and, above all, what of his descendants, when the books have been closed and the last balance struck of sacrifice and sorrow in every hamlet, village, parish, suburb, city, shire, district, province, and Dominion throughout the Empire?

Kipling's son John was killed in action at the Battle of Loos in September , at age John had initially wanted to join the Royal Navy, but having had his application turned down after a failed medical examination due to poor eyesight, he opted to apply for military service as an army officer. But again, his eyesight was an issue during the medical examination. In fact, he tried twice to enlist, but was rejected. His father had been lifelong friends with Lord Roberts , former commander-in-chief of the British Army, and colonel of the Irish Guards , and at Rudyard's request, John was accepted into the Irish Guards.

John Kipling was sent to Loos two days into the battle in a reinforcement contingent. He was last seen stumbling through the mud blindly, with a possible facial injury.

Rudyard Kipling - A Literary Life | P. Mallett | Palgrave Macmillan

A body identified as his was found in , although that identification has been challenged. Cemetery, Haisnes.

However, the poem was originally published at the head of a story about the Battle of Jutland and appears to refer to a death at sea; the "Jack" referred to is probably a generic " Jack Tar ". However, Kipling was indeed emotionally devastated by the death of his son. He is said to have assuaged his grief by reading the novels of Jane Austen aloud to his wife and daughter. Some of these were set to music by the English composer Edward Elgar.

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Kipling became friends with a French soldier named Maurice Hammoneau, whose life had been saved in the First World War when his copy of Kim , which he had in his left breast pocket, stopped a bullet. Hammoneau presented Kipling with the book, with bullet still embedded, and his Croix de Guerre as a token of gratitude. They continued to correspond, and when Hammoneau had a son, Kipling insisted on returning the book and medal. The next day, he wrote to the newspaper to disclaim authorship and a correction appeared.

Although The Times employed a private detective to investigate, the detective appears to have suspected Kipling himself of being the author, and the identity of the hoaxer was never established. Partly in response to John's death, 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 the other places in the world where British Empire troops lie buried.

Joseph Rudyard Kipling ; LIFE & WORKS

His main contributions to the project were his selection of the biblical phrase, " Their Name Liveth For Evermore " Ecclesiasticus Additionally, he wrote a two-volume history of the Irish Guards , his son's regiment, published in and seen as one of the finest examples of regimental history. Kipling's short story "The Gardener" depicts visits to the war cemeteries, and the poem " The King's Pilgrimage " a journey which King George V made, 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, writing enthusiastically of trips around England and abroad, though he was usually driven by a chauffeur.

After the war, Kipling was sceptical of the Fourteen Points and the League of Nations , but had hopes that the United States would abandon isolationism and the post-war world be dominated by an Anglo-French-American alliance. Kipling was hostile towards communism , writing of the Bolshevik take-over in that one sixth of the world had "passed bodily out of civilization.

This short-lived enterprise focused on promoting classic liberal ideals as a response to the rising power of communist tendencies within Great Britain, or as Kipling put it, "to combat the advance of Bolshevism". In , Kipling, having referred to the work of engineers in some of his poems, such as "The Sons of Martha", "Sappers", and " McAndrew's Hymn ", [95] and in other writings, including short-story anthologies such as The Day's Work , [96] was asked by a University of Toronto civil engineering professor, Herbert E. Haultain , for assistance in developing a dignified obligation and ceremony for graduating engineering students.

Kipling was 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 a ceremony to remind them of their obligation to society. Kipling, as a Francophile , argued strongly for an Anglo-French alliance to uphold the peace, calling Britain and France in the "twin fortresses of European civilization".

So he reasoned that the future would bring German domination if Versailles were revised in Germany's favour, and it was madness for Britain to pressurise France into doing so. He believed that Labour was a communist front organisation, and "excited orders and instructions from Moscow" would expose Labour as such to the British people. Though he admired Benito Mussolini to some extent in the s, he was against fascism, calling Oswald Mosley was "a bounder and an arriviste ".

By , he was calling Mussolini a deranged and dangerous egomaniac and in wrote, "The Hitlerites are out for blood". Despite his anti-communism , the first major translations of Kipling into Russian took place under Lenin 's rule in the early s, and Kipling was popular with Russian readers in the interwar period.

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Many younger Russian poets and writers, such as Konstantin Simonov , were influenced by him. Many older editions of Rudyard Kipling's books have a swastika printed on the cover, associated with a picture of an elephant carrying a lotus flower, reflecting the influence of Indian culture. Kipling's use of the swastika was based on the Indian sun symbol conferring good luck and the Sanskrit word meaning "fortunate" or "well-being". In a note to Edward Bok after the death of Lockwood Kipling in , Rudyard said: "I am sending with this for your acceptance, as some little memory of my father to whom you were so kind, the original of one of the plaques that he used to make for me.

I thought it being the Swastika would be appropriate for your Swastika. May it bring you even more good fortune. Kipling kept writing until the early s, but at a slower pace and with less success than before. On the night of 12 January he suffered a haemorrhage in his small intestine. He underwent surgery, but died less than a week later on 18 January , at the age of 70 of a perforated duodenal ulcer.

Don't forget to delete me from your list of subscribers. The pallbearers at the funeral included Kipling's cousin, Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin , and the marble casket was covered by a Union Jack. More than 50 unpublished poems by Kipling, discovered by the American scholar Thomas Pinney, were released for the first time in March Kipling's writing has strongly influenced that of others. His stories for adults remain in print and have garnered high praise from writers as different as Poul Anderson , Jorge Luis Borges , and Randall Jarrell , who wrote, "After you have read Kipling's fifty or seventy-five best stories you realize that few men have written this many stories of this much merit, and that very few have written more and better stories.

His children's stories remain popular and his Jungle Books made into several films. The first was made by producer Alexander Korda. 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 The poet T.

Eliot edited A Choice of Kipling's Verse with an introductory essay.