The stories and verse that Kipling wrote at the turn of the century did much to shape public attitudes towards the British Empire and the worthiness of it's purpose. Born in Bombay, the son of an art teacher and illustrator, he was educated in England (a miserable experience recaptured in some of his stories) before returning to India in 1882 as a newspaper reporter.
Nine years later he came back to England with an emerging reputation as an author and poet for both adults and children. His works on Indian, imperial, military and patriotic themes enjoyed huge commercial and literary success, Plain Tales from the Hills (1888), Barrack Room Ballads (1892), The Jungle Book (1894), Just So Stories (1902), Stalky & Co. (1899), and his generally acknowledged masterpiece Kim (1901) among them. In 1915 was published..
Kipling won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907. For all the success and seemingly jingoistic nature of the works, they were often double-edged in their depiction of the Raj and the British in India. Those in authority were often satirised, the ordinary soldier (his 'Tommy Atkins') was patronised, while those back in Britain were criticised for failing to comprehend the meaning and importance of Empire. Kipling subscribed to the gospels of hard work and progress as a remedy for those faults: therein lay much of his popular appeal and eventually the eclipse of his literary star.
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About the Author
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was one of the most popular writers in the United Kingdom in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His fiction works include The Jungle Book — a classic of children’s literature — and the rousing adventure novel Kim, as well as books of poems, short stories, and essays. In 1907, at the age of 42, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Table of Contents
|I.||On the Frontier of Civilization||9|
|II.||The Nation's Spirit and a New Inheritance||31|
|III.||Battle Spectacle and a Review||50|
|IV.||The Spirit of the People||72|
|V.||Life in Trenches on the Mountain Side||91|
|VI.||The Common Task of a Great People||111|