The New Readers' Guide
to the works of
Rudyard Kipling

Initiated and guided by George Webb, C.M.G., O.B.E.
Editor of the Kipling Journal 1980-2000

General Editor John Radcliffe, Verse Editor John Walker, Project Group: David Page, Alastair Wilson, Peter Havholm, Mary Hamer, Leonee Ormond, John Slater.

What's new

[April 4th 2014]

We have just published notes by Philip Holberton and Alastair Wilson on "London Stone", Kipling 1923 poem about the Cenotaph.

Also notes by Mary Hamer on "The Spies' March", and notes by Philip Holberton on the Ode Kipling wrote for the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance for the war dead from Victoria.

Also notes by Mary Hamer on four poems from The Years Between, "The Question", "The Virginity", "Zion" and "The Pro-Consuls".

On the 'For Members' pages of the site we have published the first five years of extracts from Carrie Kipling's diaries, as recorded by Charles Carrington, with explanatory notes by Alastair Wilson.

The later years will follow.

Click on 'For Members' on the Home page of this site, enter your username and password, and you will find a link to the diary extracts in the sidebar.

We have also recently published an article by David Richards from Fine Books & Collections, on 'Kipling and the Bhoys at Yale' in which in 1896 RK explains in a poem "Mulvaney's Regrets", that he is unable to accept an invitation to a Yale Dinner in his honour.

Peter Havholm has continued his review of our notes on Limits and Renewals, with some critical suggestions and additions to George Engle's entry on "The Church that was at Antioch".

We have recently published notes by Alastair Wilson on "The Song of the Sons", "The Song of the Dead", "The Deep Sea Cables", and "The Coastwise Lights".

Also notes by Alastair Wilson on "A Song of the English" from The Seven Seas, together with the text of the poem.

Also notes by John Radcliffe on "A Levée in the Plains", and "Carmen Simlaense", together with the text of the poems.

Now that, over the past ten years, our annotation of the prose has been completed, we have launched a Review.

Alastair Wilson has been reviewing the entries on Departmental Ditties, of which the most recent are "Prelude", "The Last Department", "What Happened", and "Delilah".

We have recently published notes edited by John Radcliffe on "Lucifer", and "The Man and the Shadow", a later addition (1900) to Departmental Ditties.

Peter Havholm has so far reviewed our notes on "Dayspring Mishandled", "Fairy-kist", and "The Woman in his Life", in Limits and Renewals, and the entries have been updated accordingly.

We have recently published notes by Philip Holberton on "Epitaphs of the War", and a major essay by Susan Treggiari on "Kipling and the Classical World".

As part of our continuing efforts to complete the annotation of the verse, Philip Holberton has added some further points to Alan Underwood's notes on the Chapter Headings of the two Jungle Books. These are to be found at the head of the notes on the text of each tale.

We have also recently published notes by Alastaor Wilson on "The First Chantey". Also notes by Philip Holberton on "Hymn of the Triumphant Airman".

Also notes by Roger Ayers on "The King's Pilgrimage", commemorating the visits by King George V to the War Cemeteries in 1922.

Also notes by Philip Holberton on "The English Way", "The Love Song of Har Dyal" from "Beyond the Pale" in Plain Tales from the Hills, "The City of Sleep" from "The Brushwood Boy", "A School Song" from "Stalky & Co., "Rimini" from "On the Great Wall" in Puck of Pook's Hill, and "Mother o' Mine". Also by Alastair Wilson on "The King" (first published as "Romance") .

We have also recently published notes by Philip Holberton and John Radcliffe on "A Death Bed", "A Pict Song", and "Arithmetic on the Frontier", and by Philip Holberton on "The Egg-Shell" and "A Three-Part Song", together with the text of the poems.

We have also recently published notes by Alastair Wilson on "The Sea-Wife", by Philip Holberton on The Dedication "To Wolcott Balestier" (from Barrack Room Ballads) and "Our Fathers of Old"; and by Alastair Wilson on Kipling's "Dedication to The Seven Seas - To the City of Bombay", together with the text of the poems.

Also notes by John McGivering and Sharad Keskar on "Shiv and the Grasshopper", and notes by John McGivering on "A Ripple Song", "Road-Song of the Bandar-Log", and "Morning-Song in The Jungle", together with the text of the poems.

We have also recently published:

'Uncollected' stories

The following thirty-six stories and articles are uncollected save for their appearance in the Sussex Edition (and in the Unites States, the Burwash Edition). Because they are comparatively inaccessible to the general reader, we are publishing the full text of these works on this site together with the notes, and the associated poems.

Kipling in America, 1892-1896

A symposium on Kipling's four years in America after his marriage to Caroline Balestier, was held at Marlboro College near Brattleboro Vermont, on October 7th 2013. Click here for details.

Rudyard Kipling: an international writer

A very successful international conference at London University on was held on October 21st and 22nd 2011. Click here for a list of the papers presented, with links to abstracts. The Conference was organised by the School of English at the University of Kent, and directed by Dr Jan Montefiore, and sponsored by the Kipling Society.

The Kent Conference

An earlier international conference at the University of Kent on Kipling studies was held on September 7th and 8th 2007. Click here for a list of the papers presented, with links to abstracts; papers shown in red are available in full. The Conference was organised by the School of English to mark the centenary of Kipling's Nobel Prize for Literature. It was directed by Dr Jan Montefiore, author of the recent study of Kipling's writings, and sponsored by the Kipling Society.

Themes in Kipling's works

We have developed a system through which you can search for themes and people in Kipling's works. Click here

This is not an attempt to define or pigeon-hole particular stories, but rather to give readers the chance of seeing where particular themes or references crop up in his work.

In our discussions about this system we have frequently struck issues which are not easy to resolve, and have concluded with the hope that readers will come back to us with comments and refinements. Please send any comments to the NRG Project Group via

Some more recent additions

With the agreement of the National Trust we have also recently published the text of the two uncollected Just So Stories,"Ham and the Porcupine", and "The Tabu Tale".

We have also recently published extended notes by Leonee Ormond on Chapter IX of 'Captains Courageous' incorporating a good deal of technical detail from John Reading in the United States on Harvey Cheyne's epic rail journey across America from San Diego to Boston.

Thanks largely to a massive scanning effort by David Page, helped by Stephen Piper, we have completed the task of making the entire run of over 300 Kipling Journal back-numbers up to two years ago available to users of the NRG who are also members of the Society. The full run, apart from the last eight issues, is now up on this site together with a search system which enables one to search the full text for a word or phrase. See details below.

Background to the project

This work has involved reviewing the entries in Harbord's Readers' Guide to the Works of Rudyard Kipling (the 'Old Readers' Guide' or ORG), updating and extending them, and in many cases creating new notes. Click here for details of the background to the project.

Click here for a Note for Contributors

For readers who wish to take a look at the Old Readers' Guide, a
note by John Walker is attached.

General Articles

In addition to the notes on specific works, the Guide includes a number of 'General Articles', which cover a wide range of themes, including :


As contributions to the Guide are drafted, we are publishing them on this site, where they are available not only for use, but for scrutiny and criticism. The great advantage of on line publication is that we can make the Guide a responsive interactive document, which can be modified swiftly in response to people's comments, rather than a fixed and final publication. The entries are dated so that readers are aware of what is new.

If you have any thoughts about the pages we have published so far, or about the plans we have laid out, or if you have experience you can bring to the Project, we will be very glad to hear from you. Please email to
John Radcliffe, Secretary of the Project Group, and On Line Editor for the Society.

Kipling Journal back-numbers

We have made the 12,000 or so pages of Kipling Journal back-numbers available on line as plain text-files (apart from the eight most recent issues) to users of this Guide.

Click here
to see one or more of the available back-numbers and use the search system to find a word or phrase.

Click here if you wish to join the Society.


Editors and contributors are committing a substantial amount of work to the NRG, much of which is original. By agreeing to contribute, contributors are giving the Society the right to publish their work freely on the web, but if commercial publication in any other form (print or CD-ROM) is envisaged, their author's rights remain.

The Kipling Society allows users of the NRG on line, whether or not they are members of the Society, the right to freely download sections to their computers, or to print them out for personal use. However if any wider use is envisaged, this cannot be permitted without prior authorisation from the Society. Please send any enquiries to

To illustrate these notes the Society has made use of a number of pictures from various sources, which we believe to be out of copyright. We can make no commitment, however, to permit the downloading of such illustrations or their use elsewhere.

Reference material

Throughout the Guide we are providing detailed notes, explaining references in specific stories and poems. We are planning also to include a newly revised version of John McGivering's A Kipling Dictionary originally created by W Arthur Young and published in 1911, updated by John McGivering in 1967, and published by Macmillan.
Click here
to see the results of preliminary work on this.

Guidance on the verse

Providing guidance on the verse is a massive task because of the sheer volume of Kipling's work, over 550 published poems, and at least as many again which remain unpublished. There were plans for two Harbord volumes on the verse, but only one was published. The notes for the other are thought to still exist, but so far we have not succeeded in tracing them.

John Walker, who edits the Verse section of the New Readers' Guide has prepared a
list of the principal collections in which Kipling's verse has appeared over the years, with the abbreviations we will be using in the indexing system.

We are indexing the notes on the verse by titles, first lines, collections, and in date order. We plan to include a good deal of material which has only previously been published in the Harbord Guide (the ORG) The current Index is available arranged by alphabetically by title, or by first line.

To help readers find their way through the verse, we have published lists of the stories in each collection, giving titles and first lines.

There is also a full list of the 'Definitive Version' of the Verse.

Using the Guide

There is a section of the Guide for each story, poem, and other work. To find the stories you can click on The stories listed in the red sidebar on the left (or from the links below), which is an alphabetical list of all the stories.

Those stories for which we have an entry are in red, and if you click on them this will take you to the entry. In most cases there is an introductory page, from which you can jump to detailed notes on the text. You can also find stories via The stories in their collections in the sidebar - or from the links below.

Wherever you are in the Guide, a click on the grey and red Readers' Guide logo in the top left hand corner will take you back to this page. A click on the Elephant's head (Ganesha) logo at the top of the sidebar will take you back to the Home-page for the site.

Some useful links

Kipling's verse

For guidance on the Verse
click here .

As well as the stories and reports, we have completed entries on the following poems:



We have also published the text of over 450 of the poems on this site by kind agreement of the National Trust.

What's New | Kipling's verse | Future plans
Using the Guide | Feedback | General articles | Some links
The main works | The stories listed | The stories in their collections
Reference material | Some books | On Line antiquarian books

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