by John McGivering)
|notes on the text|
I first began to wonder whether Abraham Lincoln had not killed too many autochthonous (original inhabitants) ‘Americans’ in the Civil War, for the benefit of their hastily imported Continental supplanters.Kipling does, however, go on to accept that: 'This is black heresy…'
"The Edge of the Evening" is a sinister tale; the light is fading … indicative of a bad stretch aheadAngus Wilson believes (p. 259) that in December 1913 Kipling’s sense of the immediacy of a German invasion was so strong that he wrote this story, and Andrew Lycett takes a similar view (p. 434).
He had a gift of prophecy…He foresaw two wars. That of 1914 is foreshadowed in his “Ode to France” written in 1913. (collected as “France”) And in 1932 he foresaw, in “The Storm Cone,” the storm that was to burst seven years later. He seems to me the greatest English man of letters of his generation.It is indeed possible that Kipling saw the 1914 War approaching as early as 1902, witness his verse “The Islanders”, and “The Captive” the same year (Traffics and Discoveries). This Editor is of the opinion, however, that while this is also such a story, the characters are exaggerated, the country estate is more elaborate that it ever could be, while the house-party and domestic staff are overdrawn. In short, it is a parody of a spy-story, including an unlikely aircraft that would not have behaved in the manner described. Kipling is again ahead of his time. While time has not yet (2008) caught up with him, this tale can still be enjoyed as a rattling good yarn, even when taken with a pinch of salt.
[This address was also reprinted in Kipling and the Critics p. 118]