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Kipling and the Sea
Voyages and Discoveries
Kipling wrote copiously about his own voyages - to India, across the Pacific and Atlantic, down to South Africa and Australia - and about the voyages of others. Sailors were particular heroes of his, as adventurers who braved every kind of element and danger to reach distant lands, as skilled engineers and navigators in the Merchant Service, or as trained men in the Royal Navy, safeguarding the Empire.
This new collection, edited by Andrew Lycett, is available from I B Tauris to Kipling Society members at the special price of £13.96, via their website at http://bit.ly/1b0t0uG, quoting the code 9VL at the checkout stage.
Wednesday, 8 April 2015 5.30 for 6 p.m. in the Mountbatten Room, Royal Overseas League. Dr Frances Harris, former keeper of Modern Historical Manuscripts at the British Library, on ‘Historical and Personal Reflections on the Puck Stories’.
Wednesday, 6 May 2015 1.00 p.m.at the Royal Overseas League. The Society's Annual Luncheon. The speakers will be Toni and Valmai Holt, the authors of My Boy Jack ?, on Kipling’s Memorial Work for his son, John, killed 100 years ago this September.
Wednesday, 8 July 2015 5.30 for 6 p.m. in the Mountbatten Room, Royal Overseas League. Andrew Lownie, literary agent and biographer of John Buchan, on ‘Rudyard Kipling and John Buchan: their friendship and mutual influence'.
Kipling in America
A Kipling Society Symposium, October 2013
This Symposium on Kipling's years in the New England state of Vermont, where - newly married to an American wife - he made his home from 1892 to 1896, was held on October 7th/8th at Marlboro College, near Brattleboro.
It was addressed by a number of distinguished Kipling scholars, British and American, and included a visit to the nearby Kipling house, "Naulakha". Click here for details.
The new complete edition
of Kipling's verse
Professor Thomas Pinney's magisterial three-volume complete edition of the verse has just been published by Cambridge University Press.
Of over 1300 poems in this edition, over 500 have never before been collected, and 50 are previously unpublished. Every authorised version of the collected poems, from original periodical publication to the final edition in Kipling's lifetime, has been included to produce a full record of the author's additions, deletions and alterations. A note to each poem provides a record of publication and, where possible, information about its occasion and context.
This splendid collection is priced at £200, but Cambridge University Press are offering it to members of the Kipling Society at a 20% discount. Members can access the discount via the link above, or by calling +44 (0)1223 326050 and quoting the code KIPLINGSOCIETY. The new edition will also be available in the Kipling Library.
Kim in Hebrew
A new edition of Kim in Hebrew, translated and annotated by Shmuel (Muli) Vered, has been published by Aryeh Nir Publishers, 9 Hapekan St.,Ramot-Hashavim 4593000 Israel.
The price in Israel is NIS 98, some £17.00. If you are interested in acquiring a copy please email the publishers at email@example.com with your phone number.
A Kipling Society for Estonia
The Rudyard Kipling Society of Estonia is currently in formation. It is hoped that the society will be able to foster new interest in Kipling and open up unexplored avenues of scholarly research. The main focus will be on the life and writings of Rudyard Kipling, but the society will also have an interest in relevant comparative literature.
For more information please email James Baxenfield: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kipling and Trix
A new novel by Mary Hamer
Kipling and Trix tells the story of two lives. Filled with drama, they share a childhood darkened by terrors that will colour the years to come, as brother and sister take very different paths.
Can brother and sister survive the different catastrophes that befall them as adults and find the resilience to start over again?
Based on extensive research, Kipling and Trix makes emotional sense of these extraordinary and courageous lives, presenting them here together for the first time.
You can find an interview with Mary about the book on Words Unlimited.
Click here to buy the book from Waterstone's
Click here to buy it from Amazon UK
A Kipling Fellowship
Magdalene College Cambridge, with its close connection to Rudyard Kipling, offers a one-term Honorary Fellowship to a Kipling scholar. This provides accommodation and meals at the Fellows common table but no stipend. Candidates are expected to be established, but not necessarily senior, academics, researching a subject relating to Kipling.
Applications can be made directly to the President of the College (postcode Cambridge, CB3 0AG) The former Kipling Fellow, Jeffery Lewins (email@example.com) will be glad to advise further.
Help for Heroes
Help for Heroes gives practical, direct support for soldiers wounded in recent wars.
In 2009 former Army Captain James Milton walked barefoot along the 130 mile pilgrim route from Winchester to Canterbury, to raise more than £4,000 for the charity. He served as an Army officer between 1998 and 2007, including three tours in Iraq.
He has written a series of soldier poems, which we are glad to be able to publish on this site. They echo his wide reading of Kipling, the ballad tradition, the belief that poems should be read aloud, and the black humour. You can contact James by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kipling and Orwell
Launched in 2011, The Orwell Society is a means by which anyone can become better acquainted with, and share their appreciation for, the life and work of George Orwell, one of the most original and influential voices in 20th Century literature, author of 1984, Animal Farm and The Road to Wigan Pier.
Rudyard Kipling was among his favourite writers, and he wrote about him on several occasions, notably in his review of T S Eliot's selection of Kipling's verse in 1941, collected in Kipling's Mind and Art, edited by Andrew Rutherford, (Oliver and Boyd, 1964).
Man and Mason
Kipling and Freemasonry
This new book by Richard Jaffa shows how at two key stages in his life, Kipling wrote of Freemasonry, not only for dramatic impact but as a source of spiritual comfort after the horrors of the Great War.
Richard Jaffa has been a Freemason for thirty years, and Master of four Lodges. For a copy of his book (£15 including P & P) you can write to him at 32 Malcolmson Close, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 3LS, or email to RJaffa3266@aol.com.
Folk Police Recordings are releasing an album on February 21st with a selection of artists from the current folk scene performing new versions of Peter Bellamy's settings of various of RK's poems from Puck of Pook's Hill and Rewards and Fairies.
These settings have long been out of print.
The British Library has published a new edition of this timeless classic from the Just So Stories, together with "How the Camel Got His Hump", "How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin" and "The Elephant's Child", price £7.95.
It is available on line from the British Library shop at 96 Euston Road, London NW, or enquire by phone to (020) 7412 7735, or by e-mail to email@example.com.
Kipling Abroad, Traffics and Discoveries from Burma to Brazil
A new selection of his most descriptive and revealing travel writing, introduced and edited by Andrew Lycett, published on January 11th 2010 by I.B.Tauris.
The Kipling plaque at U.S.C.
This plaque at 'Kipling Terrace' in Westward Ho!, dating from 1953, commemorating Kipling's time at United Services College, had become obscured by ivy and undergrowth. It was rediscovered by members of the local History Group, and has now been refurbished, thanks to a grant from Northam Town Council.
Original watercolour illustrations
Jennings Fine Art are selling 26 watercolour drawings, circa 1920, by Dorothy Carleton Smyth, illustrating the titles of Kipling's works. These are possibly original designs for "vellucent" bindings for a de luxe edition. If you are interested in seeing them contact Neil Jennings on 07812 994558.
Kipling set to music
The American singer and song-writer Leslie Fish has set many of Kipling's poems to music, as you will see from Brian Mattinson's work on the musical settings of the verse.
You will find details of her latest albums on her web-site. Spool down to 'enter here', click on 'BUY CD'S' in the sidebar, and if you spool down you will find details of her album "Cold Iron" which has fifteen of the poems set to music, and "Our Fathers of Old" with another fourteen.
Kipling wrote evocatively, in many stories and poems, of his beloved adopted county.
This study by Michael Smith, extensively illustrated in colour, sets Kipling's life and work within the context of the varied and beautiful Sussex landscape. It also includes the Sussex poems, and several others, together with two little-known prose works, "A Village Rifle Club" and "Railway Reform in Great Britain". There is also a glossary of Sussex words used by Kipling.
Rudyard Kipling's Uncollected Speeches:
A Second Book of Words
ELT Press at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro has published Rudyard Kipling's Uncollected Speeches which includes forty-eight speeches, on a variety of topics, and to a variety of audiences, edited by Professor Thomas Pinney.
If you are interested in acquiring a copy, contact Robert Langenfeld at ELT Press (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Kipling Sahib: India and the Making of Rudyard Kipling
This masterly study by Charles Allen, whose great-grandfather gave 16-year-old 'Ruddy' his first job on the Civil and Military Gazette in Lahore, was published by Little Brown on November 1st.
Charles Allen focuses on Kipling's younger years from 1865 to 1900: his Indian childhood, abandonment in England, return to India and coming of age. He traces the Indian experiences of Kipling’s parents, Lockwood and Alice, and reveals the hidebound culture the young writer was born into and returned to as a teenager - and the painful process by which he shook off his chains to become a writer of genius. It is a work of enormous sympathy for a man – though not blind to Kipling’s failings – and the country he loved.
Access to the Kipling Library
John Walker writes: Those wishing to make an appointment to visit the Library should do so by telephoning at least a day in advance on 020-7040-4061, or, failing this, the University's main switchboard at 020-7040-5060. If you are visiting from a distance or need help, do by all means telephone or email me directly.
John Walker, Hon. Librarian
(01622 890366, email@example.com)
My Boy Jack?: the Search for Kipling's Only Son
An updated edition of this classic closely researched study by Toni and Valmai Holt has been published by Leo Cooper/Pen & Sword, at £12.95. It tells the sad tale of the life and early death on the battlefield of John Kipling, Rudyard Kipling's only son.
The Irish Guards in
the Great War
The two classic volumes of "The Irish Guards in the Great War", edited by George Webb, are available from PostScript Books.
You can order by post (24 Langford Road, London SW17, 7PL), by phone (020 8767 7421), or via the PostScript website.
The Kent Conference
This very successful international conference on Kipling studies was organised by the School of English at the University of Kent on September 7th and 8th 2007 to mark the centenary of Kipling's Nobel Prize for Literature. It was directed by Dr Jan Montefiore, author of a new study of Kipling;s writings, and sponsored by the Society. Click here for abstracts of the papers given.
Kipling, by Jad Adams
This biography of Kipling, published by Haus Books in 2005, is by Jad Adams. It has been well received: 'an important study of one of England's literary heroes' (Financial Times), 'admirable' (Spectator), 'a short and enjoyably confrontational biography' (The Times).
The south-west of England is particularly rich in literary associations, with writers who include Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, T S Eliot, and Rudyard Kipling.
Harvey's Literary Tours are running six-day tours of "Landscapes that inspired Literature", including a visit to Westward Ho! the scene of Kipling's schooldays at USC.
For the first tour, starting on April 21st, they are offering a special discount of £300 per couple plus £100 for members of the Kipling Society. For details contact Ross Harvey (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A painting of Rottingdean
This painting (44 x 59 cm) in oils, by Jean Farnsworth (1976), is available for sale at £330. If you are interested in acquiring it, please contact Mr H Boehm (phone 0115 9119746)
Modern translations of Kipling
Three new translations into Russian of works by Rudyard Kipling have just been published; "Actions and Reactions", "Traffics and Discoveries", and Captains Courageous. The translator is Captain Nikolai Tess, a Latvian by birth, educated there and in Russia. They have been copiously annotated.
The print run has been limited, but copies may be obtained by contacting Captain Nikolai Tess, 126 rue du General de Gaulle, 95620 Parmain, FRANCE; e-mail email@example.com. The cost is €14.00, plus postage and packing.
A literary life, by Philip Mallett
This new, and well-regarded study is available from the web-site of Palgrave Macmillan. They are also offering the six volumes of Thomas Pinney's superbly edited "Letters of Rudyard Kipling", either singly or as a set.
Between 1889 and 1895, while travelling in the United States, and - later - living in Vermont, Kipling wrote a number of letters and articles about America. In this new collection published by the ELT Press at the University of North Carolina, David Stewart brings them all together, in their original form, with an illuminating commentary.
David Page, Editor of the Kipling Journal has commented: "...when you read Prof Stewart’s book, you will read the handiwork of that 23 year-old in all its ebullient glory – Kipling writing for his Anglo-Indian audience, paying his way from his earnings, and clearly not stinting...Kipling paints the American scene literally with his pen; delights in the people that he meets, foibles and all; exults over the salmon and trout that he conquers; and tells us what he really thinks of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.
The book is available from Amazon at a price of £35.00 but we have been able to arrange for a special price to members of the Society of £16.95 (including postage) for readers in the UK, or €25.95 for readers in Europe. Please send a sterling or Euro cheque in favour of The Kipling Society to: Kipling's America, 106 Richmond Avenue, London N1 0LS.
Cecil Rhodes in Capetown
Big Blue Sky Tours are offering a "Rhodes Tour" to the places in Cape Town associated with Kipling's old friend, Cecil Rhodes. Further details can be found on their web-site.
The Gardens at Bateman's
One of our members, Dennis Ball, A.R.I.B.A., has done a measured survey of the gardens at Bateman's, in the form of a handsome watercolour, which provides a detailed and accurate aerial view of the house and gardens. It was shown at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 1998.
Dennis Ball has offered a reduced version of the work, measuring 45cms by 22cms, with a white border of 4cms, to members, at a price of £6.00 plus postage. If you are interested in acquiring a copy, you can get in touch with him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Kipling Journal
The Kipling Journal Index can be accessed from within the Members' area of this site. Click on Searching the Kipling Journal in the sidebar on the left.
For the contents of the latest edition of the Journal. click here
Kipling's 'Selected Poems'
edited by Peter Keating
This selection was first published in 1993 and reprinted in Penguin Classics in 2000. The poems are presented in chronological order to reveal the development, as well as the originality, of Kipling's work. It opens with him satirising the British in India, and closes with his warning against the rise of Nazi Germany.
The Indian Railway Library
Facsimiles at bargain prices!
Roger Ayers writes:
Between 1986 and 1988, the R.S. Surtees Society, which publishes facsimiles of books by and about R.S. Surtees and his world, produced a set of reprints of the first six Kipling books to appear in A.H. Wheeler’s Indian Railway Library. These were some of the very first paperbacks ever to be published.
These reprints, made with the agreement of Macmillan, were advertised at the time as being ‘as nearly as practicable’ facsimiles of the first Indian Editions and were bound in grey-green wrappers bearing the well-known cover illustrations of the originals. In fact, they were not all copied from first editions, or even Indian Editions, and some include English advertisements from Sampson, Low, Marston & Company editions. A further departure from the originals was the inclusion of illustrations by A.S.Hartrick from the 1896 edition of Soldier Stories in Soldiers Three and Wee Willie Winkie and the poem "Danny Deever" in Soldiers Three.
However, the books are very close to the originals and, as a bonus, Philip Mason, author of Rudyard Kipling, The Glass, the Shadow and the Fire, wrote an introduction to each book specially for this set of reprints.
They can now be found in second-hand bookshops, sometimes priced at £5 to £8, but the R.S.Surtees Society still has some available to members at 1986 - 1988 prices! These are:
Soldiers Three £2.95
The Story of the Gadsbys £2.95
In Black and White £3.75
Under the Deodars £3.75
The Phantom Rickshaw and Other Eerie Tales £3.75
Wee Willie Winkle and other tales £3.75
Set of all 6 Indian Railway Library reprints £18.00
For UK and European Community by surface mail please add 15% to your order, for all other destinations by surface mail please add 25% to your order. Air Mail or special delivery prices on application.
Tel (in UK): 01373 836937
Payment must be made in Sterling, either by cheque drawn on a U.K. bank or by International Money Order. Please send the order, together with your cheque/money order made payable to 'The R. S. Surtees Society', to: The R. S. Surtees Society, Manor Farm House, Nunney, Nr. Frome, Somerset, BA11 4NJ, ENGLAND, identifying yourself as a member of the Kipling Society.
The Kipling Society Bookplate
One of our Council members, the late David Page, recently acquired a copy of the Breitmann Ballads, which had been owned by Captain E W Martindell, the first major bibliographer of Kipling. It included the Kipling Society bookplate, of the 1930s, which we have reproduced above. (its actual size is three inches by two and a half inches)
Designed for the Society by Miss Doris Ardley, in 1934, the bookplate was sold to Members of the Society for one penny. If there are Members who would like to use it now, we can take steps to have multiple copies made as a label. If you are interested please email to John Radcliffe.
Doris Ardley was also the designer of the original Kipling Society Membership card (above), which was reproduced in black and white on page 25 of No 1 of the Kipling Journal, March 1927.
Proofs of Holy Writ
'Proofs of Holy Writ', Kipling's last tale is comparatively little known, since it was completed too late for inclusion in his last collection 'Limits and Renewals'. It has been reprinted twice in the Kipling Journal, and we have published it on this site, by kind agreement of the National Trust.
'The Hated Wife'
Carrie Kipling 1862-1939
Adam Nicolson's study of Carrie Kipling is published by Short Books. Drawing on a rich archive of diaries and letters, he has exposed the tensions at the heart of the Kiplings' marriage. Yet as he shows, it was Carrie who saw that Rudyard had the privacy he needed for his writing, and provided the backbone that her husband often preached but privately lacked. One critic, Nicci Gerrard, has written, 'Adam Nicolson takes Mrs Kipling - for so long despised - and gives her back her humanity with clarity and grace.'
The book is available from booksellers, price £4.99, or on line from Amazon.co.uk
Kipling on film
Roger Ayers writes: For all interested in Kipling's work as interpreted by film and TV film makers, I recommend the web-site of the Internet Movie Database (IMDb)
It lists 51 films, TV programmes, videos or DVDs based on Rudyard Kipling's stories or poems, or that contain performances of all or part of a work in a series or an episode from a series. The oldest is the 1910 "The Vampire", the latest, at the time of writing is an Indian/American animated feature of "Gunga Din". There are several entries in Russian and one in Dutch. It's a bit dodgy on Kipling's biography but the film details are most interesting, giving details down to the original cast in some cases.
A search for 'The Naulahka' will take you to Charles Wolcott Balestier as the scriptwriter for a film of that name. No mention of Kipling.
The Just So Songbook
Jeffery Lewins has produced a delightful CD of Edward German's settings of the songs that accompany the Just So Stories, sung by Andrew Wickens, baritone. It is available from Jeffery, either at meetings of the Society, price £10, or by application to him at email@example.com price £12.50 in the UK, or £13.50 overseas.
In Time's Eye |
A new collection edited by Jan Montefiore, which breaks new ground in Kipling scholarship. Contributors include Hugh Brogan, Dan Jacobson, Daniel Karlin and Bryan Cheyette.
After the perspectives of Chesterton (1905), Orwell (1942) and Jarrell (1960), newer contributions address Kipling's approach to the Boer war, his involvement with World War One, his Englishness and the politics of literary quotation. Different aspects of Kipling’s relation to India are explored, including the ‘Mutiny’, Eastern religions, his Indian travel writings and his knowledge of ‘the vernacular’
The book, published by Manchester University Press, is priced at £70, but until the end of February is available to members of the Kipling Society at £50. To order please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01752 202301 quoting code OTH391, and your membership number.
The Surprising Mr Kipling
In The Surprising Mr Kipling Brian Harris argues that, far from being the stuffy Victorian imperialist he is sometimes depicted, Rudyard Kipling concentrates on the timeless themes of pain and suffering, forgiveness and redemption, love and hate.
Familiarity has dulled the effect of Kipling’s most well known pieces, while other, equally fine, poems have been neglected. What is lacking, the book contends, is not another selection of Kipling’s ‘best’ poems but one which demonstrates the extraordinary width and depth of his talents and the light which they throw on their great but enigmatic author.
The anthology is rounded off with a brief life of the poet, an account of the extraordinary ups and downs of his reputation and a critical analysis of his verse.
The Surprising Mr Kipling is published by CreateSpace and is currently available from site Amazon.co.uk at £8.23
The new bibliography
The launch in February 2010 of this authoritative bibliography of Rudyard Kipling by David Alan Richards was a major publishing event for Kipling scholars and collectors.
It is the first to appear in fifty years and the first to incorporate modern standards of collation. It fully describes 480 first editions, authorised and unauthorised, appearing as books, pamphlets, leaflets, and broadsides from 1881 through 2008 in British India, England, the United States, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and Chile--a dozen of which titles were not noted by prior bibliographers.
It is the product of many years of intensive work by David Richards, who is among the world's leading Kipling collectors. It is an indispensable guide to his works for any serious student or enthusiast.
It is available in the UK from the British Linrary to Members of the Kipling Society at the special price of £110. Please address initial enquiries to the Society via email@example.com
Kipling read aloud
The Librivox on line audio library offers files of various poems and stories by Kipling which can be freely downloaded.
"Fringes of the Fleet" by Elgar and others - a new CD of a classic work
"Fringes of the Fleet", accompanied by the Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Tom Higgins, contains rarely heard music by Elgar, as well as works by John Ansell, Haydn Wood and Edward German.
For further information phone 020 8398 1586, email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the SOMM web-site.
A battle in Afghanistan
As Charles Carrington recounts (p. 214) in 1894, on holiday in Bermuda, Kipling chanced to meet a sergeant in the Royal Berkshire Regiment who carried him off to the sergeant's mess. This enabled Kipling to hear at first hand of the terrible Battle of Maiwand, fourteen years before, during the Second Afghan War, when a wing of the regiment had been wiped out. Soon after, he wrote the grim ballad "That Day".
This book tells the story of this fine Victorian Regiment. Copies can be ordered from this website. It is currently (Jan 23 2009) available via Amazon price £17.74 inc. p&p.
Kipling's early childhood
Plans are in hand for the restoration by 2009 of the cottage on the site of the house in the grounds of the JJ School of Art in Mumbai, where Rudyard spent his early childhood. There is an excellent article by Zubair Ahmed about the project on the BBC News web-site.
The Kipling Society
David Watts has been instrumental in relaunching the Kipling Society of Australia with successful and well-attended meetings and their own web-site.
Cross-references in the 'Puck' stories
and "The White Man's Burden"
ELT Press at Greensboro in North Carolina, publishers of the periodical English Literature in Transition, are bringing out two special issues to mark their fiftieth year, one of which (50:2,2007) includes a most interesting article by Lisa Lewis on "References", "Cross-references" and Notions of History in Kipling's Puck of Pook's Hill, and Rewards and Fairies, and another by Patrick Brantlinger on "The White Man's Burden".
If you would like a copy of these or other articles, contact The University of North Carolina, PO Box 26170, Greenboro NC 27402-6170, USA., or email to email@example.com
"If—" sung by Rajesh David
Rajesh David is a singer and composer, trained in the Indian classical tradition. He learned "If—" as a young boy at school in Bombay, and was later inspired to compose this work, which blends Western orchestration with elements of Indian classical music.
This CD costs £6 (including p. & p.) within the UK and £6.50 abroad. Please contact Rajesh David at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Nicholson portrait
Larkhall Fine Art are offering an original impression of this rare 1897 portrait by William Nicholson, printed from the original woodblock and hand-coloured by the artist (Ref: Campbell 23A & 67A). It is signed in ink on the original backing board.
If you are interested, please contact Nicholas Lott at 10 Margaret's Buildings, Bath BA1 2LP, tel +44 (0) 1225 444480; or email to email@example.com
An etching of Rudyard Lake
Grosvenor Prints are offering this etching in black & white ink on slightly browned paper (c.1900) for sale, priced at £30. It measures 8 x 5 3/4 ins.
If you are interested, please contact them at 19 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9JN, tel +44 (0) 20 7836 1979; or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
A Strang etching for sale
A correspondent, Geoffrey Ivey, has offered a copy of the notable etching of RK by William Strang (1859-1921) for sale.
Geoffrey Ivey writes: "the etching - Rudyard Kipling No. 2 - was made in 1898 and is signed in pencil, bottom right by William Strang - Wm Strang fec. - as etcher and bottom left - David Strang imp. - by his son as printer. It was pulled in an edition of about 80, of which about 60 copies were signed. This impression is in very good condition and I have had it mounted (acid-free board, of course) and framed in a very decent gilt moulding. The plate size is 35cm x 25cm and the overall dimensions in the frame are 59cm x 47.5cm. The price is £625."
If anyone is interested in acquiring the etching, please get in touch with Geoffrey Ivey on email@example.com
This month's quotations
Can you identify these extracts ?
1. '…a great dog-wolf jumped out behind us, and away our rested hounds tore after him, with us at their tails. He ran straight as an arrow till sunset, towards the sunset. We came at last to long capes stretching into winding waters, and on a grey beach below us we saw ships drawn up…Men moved in the ships, and the sun flashed on their helmets…'
2. '…A fire without a flame burned in my head; an evil taste grew in my mouth; my eyelids shut hot over my eyes; my breath was hot between my teeth, and my hands were like the hands of a stranger. I was made to sing songs and to mock the trees, though I was afraid of them. At the same time I saw myself laughing, and I was very sad for this fine young man, who was myself.'…
3. …he was always learning…to follow the cod and the halibut along the under-sea banks, and wrench the rockling out of his hole among the weeds; how to skirt the wrecks lying a hundred fathoms below water, and dart like a rifle bullet in at one port-hole and out at another as the fishes ran…to take the shoulder piece out of a cod at full speed ten fathoms deep; and never to stop to look at a boat or ship…
For the sources of these extracts click here
If you would like to suggest other quotations for this feature, click here
Kipling and the Swastika
(A Ganesha plaque by Lockwood Kipling)
There has been a lively correspondence on the Mailbase discussion group about Kipling's use of the Swastika. Members may be interested in taking a look at Michael Smith's article on the subject on this site.
The New Readers' Guide
As you may know, work is well advanced on the creation of a New Readers' Guide to the works of Rudyard Kipling to take the place of the massive Guide edited by Reginald Harbord and privately published by the Society in eight volumes between 1961 and 1972. The new Guide is a great collective endeavour by Kipling scholars and specialists around the world. It will probably take some two years more to complete. If you have any thoughts about it we will be very glad to have them.
Click here for details
Two new editions
A new paperback edition of Barrack-room Ballads has recently been published in Signet Classics with an new Introduction and Annotation by Andrew Lycett.
Un Taureau intelligent...
et autres contes cruels
Readers who are interested in foreign language translations of Kipling may like to see a new collection translated by Max Rives, who has been translating Kipling stories into French for many years. It is called "Un Taureau Intelligent" ("The Bull that Thought") and also includes "L'homme qui voulait être roi", "Mary Postgate", "Petit Tobrah", and L'aurore maltraité".
The publisher is Actes Sud, and the ISBN number 2-7427-4471-1
'The Long Recessional: The Imperial Life of Rudyard Kipling' by David Gilmour
This new (March 2002) study of Kipling's life, by David Gilmour, the acclaimed biographer of Lord Curzon, studies the public role of the man who so embodied the spirit of the British Empire.
Some reviewers' comments on David Gilmour's book
Andrew Lycett wrote in the Sunday Times: 'His meat is in his brilliant teasing-out of the political content in Kipling's fiction, verse, letters and other pronouncements...Along with his effortless command of his material, Gilmour impresses as a stylist: always to the point, able to sum up a verse or a character in a sentence. He makes one look again at certain poems...while noting the salient points of works usually ignored...Gilmour has illuminated not just Kipling, nor simply the troubled but fascinating history of empire, but something important about ourselves.'
Robin Knight wrote in Time Magazine of April 1st 2002: '...It's a measure of this balanced book that Gilmour puts Kipling firmly in the context of his time but does not attempt to defend the indefensible. As he stresses, Kipling - ever the realist - touched real chords in the British psyche during the first 40 years of his life...but basically he failed to change with the times...'
Tom Paulin wrote in The Times Literary Supplement: '... The Long Recessional is an important act of cultural reclamation, which ought to bring readers back to the Kipling canon...'
Ruth Padel wrote in the Daily Telegraph: '...David Gilmour has written an enthralling biography of a mind. His focus is on the "imperial life" of Kipling as artist: a case of the British Empire in the head...(he) charts beautifully the labyrinthine twists of British politics over imperial matters from 1900 to 1935, but never strays from chronicling Kiplin's writerly progression. Which makes this book essential reading for anyone who cares about how a writer finds, and passionately lives, his subject.'
Andrew Roberts wrote in the Mail on Sunday: '...This beautifully written, touching, and occasionally very funny book is far more than an apology for the greatest phrase-maker in the English tongue since Shakespeare. It is a chivalrous yet scholarly rescue of a great man's reputation...Gilmour has gently taken the old boy by the elbow and helped him up on his rightful pedestal, carefully slipping the laureate's crown back upon that balding scalp. A victim of decades-long debunking, Rudyard Kipling is now triumphantly re-bunked.'
Kipling's Forgotten Sister
A new collection of previously unpublished writings by Kipling's sister Trix, by Lorna Lee has been published.
Michael Smith describes it as: "...a treasure trove of unpublished writings ... and a fascinating collection of facts, memories, and photographs."
The book is available (price £24.95) through Forward Press Ltd, tel: 01733 898105, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Athenaeum Projects
Members may like to know of the Athenaeum Projects at City University, which have provided an electronic archive for the Athenaeum.
This weekly periodical was published between 1828 and 1923, covering much of the period when Kipling's works were first published, and contained many literary articles and reviews.
Kipling's 'Selected Poetry', edited by Craig Raine
Penguin have re-issued the Modern Classics edition of Kipling's Selected Poetry, which was first published in 1990. In his Introduction Craig Raine helps the reader to reassess RK's use of imagery, rhythm and sound, giving us less of the patriot and more of the poet.
A Circle of Sisters
by Judith Flanders
Rudyard Kipling's mother was one of the four remarkable Macdonald sisters, all of whom made their mark at the turn of the 19th century. Georgiana and Agnes married, respectively, Edward Burne-Jones and Edward Poynter. Louisa was the mother of Stanley Baldwin, later Prime-Minister. Alice was the mother of Rudyard Kipling.
Judith Flanders' new study of the sisters has been highly praised. Jan Morris calls it 'a terrific book ... a pageant-like exhibition of Victorian artistic and middle-class life.' Roy Porter comments that it is a revelation: '(it) blows away all the tired platitudes about Victorian women'. Hilary Mantel comments that 'Judith Flanders recreates their inner and outer worlds with wit, sympathy, and insight'.
'A Circle of Sisters' has just been published by Viking in hardback.
Kipling Down Under
In 1891, the 25-year-old Rudyard Kipling, newly risen into world fame through the publication of The Light that Failed', 'Plain Tales from the Hills, and other stories of India, set off alone on a tour of the Southern hemisphere.
For two weeks he was in Australia, mostly in Melbourne, where he was received with great curiosity and interest. What he did in those two weeks, what he thought and said to his hosts, where he went, how he was treated, and what the Australians thought about it all, is fully presented in this account from interviews and articles of the time.
The book is edited by Rosalind Kennedy and Thomas Pinney , and is available from Amazon, or your local bookstore.
Barrack-room Ballads on CD
Two CD's of soldier songs of the Boer War and Great War are now available from ABC Classics in Australia including 21 original settings of the Barrack-Room Ballads performed by baritone Michael Halliwell and pianist David Miller.
More information can be found on the ABC Shops web-site, or via Peter Maddigan at email@example.com.
'If..' set to music by Peter Crisp
Peter Crisp, the Australian folk-singer and musician, writes; 'I was seven years old when my father walked into my bedroom, which I shared with my brother. He hammered a nail in the bedroom door, hung a framed poem on the nail and walked out without saying a word. The poem was 'If..', the same one given to him as a young man. It hung there in our thoughts and was constantly quoted by my father over the years until we left home as young men. I am now married with two young boys and they now have 'If..' hanging on their door'.
Peter has included a musical arrangement of 'If..' on a CD he has recently released. This is available to members of the Society at a price of $AU23.00 (approx £8.20) If you wish to order a copy, please email Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for Peter's web-site.
Rudyard Kipling Readings,
by Ralph Fiennes
This CD, published by The National Trust, includes extracts from The Jungle Book, Something of Myself, Kim and The Just So Stories, as well as a number of poems including If-, Danny Deever, The Way Through the Woods, Cities and Thrones and Powers, Minesweepers and My Boy Jack
The CD is available from National Trust shops, price £9.99, or enquire at Droffig Recordings Ltd., (020 8444 5819 fax 020 8442 1005)
The excerpts from Kipling's writings were recorded by Ralph Fiennes in the study at Bateman's, where Kipling lived for the last thirty years of his life. The readings are interspersed with early recordings of music by Elgar, and classical Indian music. The programme is designed to present the many-sidedness of Kipling's talent, in prose and verse, and shows him to be perhaps the most versatile English writer of his time.
The overall playing time is 76:26. The recording is also available oncassette.
Just So Stories on CD
A new, and very engaging, recording of the Just So Stories is available on two CDs, narrated by Michael Ducarel. It can be ordered from him by telephone on 0845 456 1052 (in the UK only), by email through email@example.com, or by letter to 14B Kennington Oval, London SE11 5SG.
The price for the two-disc set, including P&P, is £15.00 within the UK, and £16.00 abroad; cheques should be drawn on a UK bank and will only be presented once the CD is sent out.
The Jungle Play
Rudyard Kipling's 'The Jungle Play' was published for the first time on May 18th 2000 by Penguin Books, with an introduction by Professor Thomas Pinney, the distinguished American Kipling scholar.
Until very recently the play, a combination of story and song, based on the Mowgli stories, was buried among Rudyard Kipling's effects at the University of Sussex Library.
The Cushing Memorial Library
The Cushing Memorial Library at Texas A&M University collects books, manuscripts, and other items relating to the life and works of Rudyard Kipling. We have published in The Kipling File an article about A W Yeats who played a key role in building the Kipling collection at Texas, by Steven Escar Smith, the Cushing Memorial Library Professor at Texas A&M.
Staying in Burwash
Visitors to Burwash may be interested to know of Church House in the High Street, an elegant Georgian village house, where Mrs Rosemary Sutcliffe offers Bed and Breakfast. Click here for details.
There is also a wealth of information about Burwash and its surroundings on the village web-site.
Staying in Naulakha
A correspondent has reminded us that RK's house in Vermont can be rented by holidaymakers. There are many mementoes around the house, and many of the rooms, including the study, remain very much as they were.
You can get details of rental terms in the UK from 01628-825920 or the Landmark Trust web-site, or in the USA on 802-254-6868 or their US site.
The web-site continues to be steadily used, with over a million visitors since we launched at the end of February 1999.
In the 'Readers' Guide' section of the site, you will find a growing body of notes and explanations on Kipling's writings, updated daily as we complete new entries for the New Readers' Guide on Rudyard Kipling's Works.
Some reviewers' comments on the Lycett biography
Sarah Sands wrote in 'The Daily Telegraph'of 3 September 1999: '...The revelation that caught the eye of the Sunday newspapers was that this old fuddy-duddy smoked opium and frequented brothels. It does not surprise me. Scratch a conservative and you will often find a raging anarchist; it is because he understands chaos that he sees the need to preserve order.
What distinguished Kipling was his intellectual resistance to an unthinking liberal consensus...'
Iain Finlayson wrote in 'The Times' of 2 September 1999: '...At the dark heart of Kipling there is a horror worthy of a Conrad story...'
and George Webb, Editor of The Kipling Journal, wrote in a letter to 'The Times' of 7 September
'May I take issue with the review by Iain Finlayson of Andrew Lycett's fine new biography of Rudyard Kipling (September 2)...' (more)
A contemporary review of a 1940 study of RK
Edward Shanks, poet and critic, published a major study of RK's work in 1940, just over three years after his death. Alastair Wilson has recently found a contemporary review of Shanks' book in a back number of The Naval Review. It sheds an interesting light on attitudes to Kipling sixty years ago, and we have reproduced it in 'The Kipling File', together with a note from Commander Wilson.
'The Long Trail
Kipling Round the World'
Meryl Macdonald's study of Kipling the globe-trotter is available by special offer - price £14.95 (inc. p & p) from Tideway House, PO Box 26, BRISTOL, BS9 1YH.
Kipling and his first publisher
A recent book edited by Professor Thomas Pinney and David Alan Richards, which publishes RK's magisterial letters to Thacker, Spink and Co between 1886 and 1890, is now available from the Rivendale Press in High Wycombe, price £25.00 including p & p anywhere in the world.
To place an order you can phone Rivendale Press on +44 (0) 1494 562 266 or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit their web-site.
Rudyard and Kipling, Michigan
In 1895, when railroads were still being extensively built in the American west, the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste Marie railway (the "Soo Line") was being cut through the virgin forests of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The General Manager of the railway, Frederick D. Underwood (1852-1942), was a devoted admirer of the work of Rudyard Kipling, and he named two stations on the route after his favorite author. Thomas Pinney has sought out the towns of Rudyard and Kipling, Michigan, as we report in 'The Kipling File'.
RK's poems on cassette.
Michael Smith has drawn our attention to a selection from RK's verse on audio cassette at the very reasonable price of £3.99. Originally published by Penguin, they start with A School Song and include If--, Danny Deever, Tommy, and The Female of the Species.
There is a linking commentary, placing the poems in a biographical context. You can order the cassette through the Postscript web-site, quoting the code-number 18717.
The 'If..' poster
This striking 'If..' poster has been produced by Stewart Superior Europe Ltd, who specialise in high quality original prints. It is available in A4 (21 x 30 cm) for £5.75 or A2 (42 x 60 cm) for £11.15, unframed. Framed versions cost £17.00 and £37.45. To order send a cheque to SS Europe, Unit 4, Chartridge Estate, Eskdale Road, Uxbridge UB8 2RT, UK, or phone (in UK) 01628 810260.
'One Hundred years of Kim
a Cambridge conference
This conference was held from 5th-7th September 2001, a century after the publication of Kim, at Magdalene College Cambridge, where RK was an Honorary Fellow. Click here for details of the Proceedings of the Conference
New editions of the rarer works
David Page reports:
'The IMDbsite (see above) can also re-direct you to the US Amazon site for a list of RK's books. I have only searched the secondhand sites until now.
Fredonia Books (NL) have a paperback series (usually $24.95 per volume) including:
Abaft the Funnel
France at War
Eyes of Asia
'These are facsimiles of the original editions, digitally enhanced to improve legibility. Abaft the Funnel (published July 2001) is the 1909 edition, and is clearly the unauthorised edition of B.W. Dodge since it follows the exact pagination, has the source of each story quoted in a footnote, and has the same minor discrepancies between the titles of some of the stories and the list of Contents (eg 'IT' rather than 'IT!' )'.
The Eyes of Asia (published March 2001) is the 1918 edition of Doubleday, Page & Co, with the same pagination. The Fredonia website(www.fredoniabooks.com) does not include its catalogue, but directs enquirers to Amazon.
Classic Books have a library binding edition (usually $98 per volume, frequently by special order) as part of a 'Collected Works of Rudyard Kipling', printed in May 2000, including:
An Almanack of Twelve Sports
From Sea to Sea
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