Kipling and France

References in the Kipling Journal

[October 25th 2009]

There are many references to Kipling and France in the Kipling Journal. We have included a selection of these below.
  • KJ 019/68 Kipling ... was the guest of honour of the France Grande Bretagne Association at its annual banquet held at the Circle Interallié in Paris on July 2 His speech is reported in the Morning Post of July 3 1931.

  • KJ 025/04 'Kipling ... had a letter in the Echo de Paris, of February 3rd, on Franco-German relations, and he is now contributing a series of articles, "Memories of France," to the Revue des Deux Mondes and the Daily Telegraph.

    Judging by the number of translations and the opinions of the great literary critics, France holds Kipling's Work in high esteem. M. Chevrillon has written the best appreciation of him to be found anywhere ; M. Andre Maurois (now one of our Vice-Presidents we are glad to note), ranks Kipling with Shakespeare and Dickens as one of the three greatest English writers; M. Legouis of the Sorbonne says that "no foreign writer has held them (our boys) with an equal spell;" and M. Marcel Brion, who has devoted a volume to the subject, writes: "Kipling does not describe—he shows." '

  • KJ 030/42 Andre Maurois on "Kipling and his Works from a French Point of View."

  • KJ 033/12 "How Kipling Conquered France” by M. Henry D. Davray, C.B.E., Legion of Honour.

  • KJ 067/06 'The Kiplings stayed at the Hotel Meurice in Paris. We went to call on them in the afternoon previous to the presentation and such an array of caps and gowns came to my eyes. Naturally Rud had none of his own, and the professors of the Sorbonne, not knowing his stature, had sent him all sizes. Rud was like a boy trying them on, and I wish I could recollect the amusing comments he made. At last he found one to fit him. The reception at the Sorbonne was tremendous. Rud had always loved France since his father took him as a small boy to the Exposition of 1879. He spoke French fairly well; fluently, but not always correctly. He was more beloved by the French people than any English writer …' [Madame Taufflieb; she was an American lady, widow of the General, who knew the Kiplings when they lived in Vermont.]

  • KJ 085/12 “Kipling and France” by Basil M. Bazley (our Founder) which continues in several following numbers.

  • KJ 098/08 'Although 15 years have gone by since Rudyard Kipling died ... there are no signs of any falling off in his popularity in France. Last April I had the privilege of giving a lecture at the Lycée Condorcet in Paris on the subject of "Kipling, the Man and his Writings," and was greatly impressed by the interest shown by the boys, who asked a number of questions in excellent English.' (B S Townroe)

  • KJ 122/03 ' France has recently welcomed our Queen with demonstrative joy. Twenty years ago, when Kipling passed away, that country mourned him with as much sorrow as was shown here. In a letter to the Morning Post (Feb. 13, 1937), Mr. Lee Harrison recalls the great vogue of his works in France : "As a student at the Sorbonne years ago, I well remember how often Kipling's texts were given to us to render into French. . . . The appreciation of Kipling's matter, rather perhaps than his manner as a great literary genius, always struck me as strange among a people to whom the imperialistic idea is often unpalatable.


©John McGivering 2009 All rights reserved