The Society

The Kipling Society is for everyone interested in the prose and verse, and life and times, of Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936). Best selling poet, children's author, novelist, supreme master of the short story, he enriched the English language with more memorable quotations than any other writer of his time.

This is one of the most active and enduring literary societies in Britain and, as the only one which focuses on Kipling and his place in English Literature, attracts a world-wide membership. The Society is a Registered Charity and a voluntary, non-profit-making organisation. Its activities, which are controlled by a Council, and run by the Secretary and honorary officials, include:
  • arranging a regular programme of lectures in London, and a formal Annual Luncheon with a distinguished guest speaker

  • publishing the Kipling Journal every quarter.

  • running this web-site for members of the Society and anyone else around the world with an interest in the life and work of Rudyard Kipling

  • maintaining the Kipling Library at Haileybury College in Hertfordshire.

  • answering enquiries from the public (schools, publishers, writers and the media), and providing speakers on request.


THE KIPLING SOCIETY was founded in 1927 by J H C Brooking and a few fellow enthusiasts, including Kipling's school-friends Major General L C Dunsterville and G C Beresford, who featured in Stalky & Co. as "Stalky" and "M'Turk". The Society prospered, and soon attracted hundreds of members from all over the world.

The Kipling Library

The Society maintains a comprehensive research library housed at Haileybury College in Hertfordshire, which may be consulted by members. It includes a full set of back numbers of the Kipling Journal. The full catalogue of the library is available on this site to members of the Society.

You can contact the Hon. Librarian, John Walker, by email at

If you have an interest in Kipling you may also 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.

Joining the Society

To join click here or email to for a registration form.

If you wish to join you may be assured of a friendly welcome. Expert knowledge is certainly not needed. Most members simply share an enthusiasm for Kipling's writings and an interest in the times through which he lived.

For the basic annual subscription (£29 in the UK, £27 by Standing Order, see below for other rates) you will receive four quarterly issues of the Kipling Journal and access to the Members' pages of this web-site, including the archive of over 300 back-numbers of the Kipling Journal. If you are within reach of London, you may also attend the Society's regular meetings and other functions. If you are under 23, the basic annual UK subscription is only £14. Rates for members outside the UK have to include the extra postage and are:

Europe Airmail £31 or €43
Rest of the World, Journal by surface mail £31 or $48 US
Rest of the World, Journal by airmail £35 or $54 US

You can pay your first subscription via PayPal directly from this site through this link. Alternatively, cheques are accepted made out to The Kipling Society and drawn on British banks in pounds, on US banks in dollars, or on European banks in euros.For other currencies please use a Bank Draft or a Bank Transfer in pounds sterling. Bank details for transfers are to be found on the back cover of the Kipling Journal.

If you are already a Member, click here to send in your proposed username and password of choice (6 to 8 characters each) for access to the Members' pages of this site.

Contacting the Society

The Society's postal address is: The Kipling Society, Doomsday Gardens, Horsham,West Sussex RH13 6LB, England. You can contact the Chairman of Council, Mike Kipling, by email at

The Kipling Journal

The Kipling Journal aims to entertain and inform. It is sent to subscription paying members all over the world free of charge. This includes individual members, libraries, and English faculties.

Since 1927, the Journal has published important items by Kipling, not readily found elsewhere, valuable historical information, and literary comment by authorities in their field.

Click here for the contents of the latest edition.

For the serious Kipling scholar, who cannot afford to overlook the Journal, a comprehensive index of the entire run since 1927 is available via this site, together with the text up to two years ago.

The Editor of the Journal, Jan Montefiore can be contacted by email at

John McGivering

John McGivering, a member of the Kipling Society for over sixty years, and one of our Vice Presidents, died on October 19th, at the age of 96. He will be much missed.

A frequent correspondent to the Kipling Journal, to which he contributed many articles over the years, his deep knowledge of Kipling's works made him an invaluable and tireless annotator for the New Readers' Guide, as many grateful readers can attest.

His funeral will be at 12 noon on Friday, 15th November, at the Family Chapel at the Downs Crematorium, Bear Rd, Brighton BN2 3PL.

John has asked for no flowers to be sent, but donations to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution ( will be most welcome.

Kipling Society events

Wednesday November 13th 2019: 5.30 for 6 pm in the Mountbatten Room, Royal Over-Seas League: Tim Pye, Chief Librarian of The National Trust, will speak on 'Kim in the Antarctic’ based on the rare book holdings at Bateman's and Wimpole Hall’.

Wednesday February 12th 2020: 5.30 for 6 pm in the Mountbatten Room, Royal Over-Seas League. Sara LeFanu, author and broadcaster, on ‘Kipling and his colleagues at The Friend newspaper in Bloemfontein’.

Wednesday April 8th 2020: the Society's Annual Luncheon. The speaker will be Professor Harish Trivedi of the University of Delhi.

Wednesday April 22nd 2020: 5.30 for 6 pm in the Mountbatten Room, Royal Over-Seas League, the Stamer-Smith Memorial Lecture. Professor Harry Ricketts, of Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealandon, on ‘Kipling and Trauma'

Kipling in the News
Journalism, Empire, and Decolonisation

17-18 April 2020
City, University of London

The deadline for submissions for papers was extended to October 18th to allow more time to consider possible contributions.

We are particularly keen to have an international dimension to the conference, and with this in mind the Kipling Society has already agreed in principle to make a financial contribution in the form of modest travel bursaries to people wanting to attend, as we have done for previous conferences.

click here for the Call for Papers.

Kipling, empire and decolonising the curriculum

Members of the Kipling Society recognise that Kipling's fiction, verse and journalism was written by one who thought that imperial rule benefited its subjects and that it includes derogatory stereotypes of colonised people.

We nevertheless feel strongly that the work of Kipling is valuable for study. Those fictions which are set in India increase our understanding of the ways in which imperialism was represented in texts. They allow us to examine how British imperialists regarded Indians and others and also how British people, culture and economics were changed by India. Finally, Kipling’s fiction can show imaginative sympathy for some Indians, and can be critical of, or ambivalent about, aspects of imperialism even while it assumes the benefit of imperial rule in general.

Members of the Society, acknowledging the damage done by imperialism, are active in reframing Kipling’s work in the light of post-colonial thinking, encouraging diverse voices and different perspectives on his work. In 2016 a conference was held in Shimla, India on Kipling in India and India in Kipling while the conference at City University London in 2020 will include discussion on Kipling and Decolonising the Curriculum’.

Click here for a select bibliography which students may find a useful place to begin researching Kipling and Empire.

Click here for a list of Kipling's stories which touch on issues of Empire.

A notable past event

Bateman's, August 12th 2017, for 24 hours

A Diversity of Kipling

A programme of one-hour edited highlights has been produced and can be found on-line here.

We can now make copies of this highlights programme available to members on DVD (including photographs of the event and other images) or CD (just the soundtrack) to listen to on their own computer, TV or CD player. These, attractively boxed, might also make a handy Christmas or birthday present for family or friends.

We suggest a donation to the Society of £10 per copy. Payment can be by PayPal, transfer to the Society’s bank account or by cheque (in £, US$ or €) payable to ‘The Kipling Society’.”

Please send your orders or requests for further information to our Treasurer, Mike Kipling, either by e-mail at, telephone at 0780 168 0516 or mail to Bay Tree House, Doomsday Garden, Horsham, West Sussex, RH13 6LB.”

January 14th to April 2nd 2017

Lockwood Kipling: Arts and Crafts in the Punjab and London

This was a groundbreaking exhibition showing many pictures and artefacts never before displayed. It explored the life and work of Lockwood Kipling (1837-1911), Rudyard's father, author of Beast and Man in India and a distinguished teacher, curator and designer, who had a strong influence on his son's writings.

Kipling and George 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).

Kipling in India, India in Kipling

This symposium Kipling in India: India in Kipling was held in Shimla on April 26-28, 2016, co-directed by Professors Harish Trivedi of Delhi University and Jan Montefiore of Kent University. It was a big success.

Rudyard Kipling
by Andrew Lycett.
A paperback edition

Ever since its publication in 1999, Andrew Lycett's distinguished and deeply researched biography has been a standard work of reference for Kipling scholars and general readers alike.

This paperback edition, with a new introduction by the author, was published in time for the 150th anniversary of Kipling's birth on December 30th 1865. .

Click here to order through the Society at a special disounted price for Kipling Society members.

Kipling and War
From 'Tommy' to 'My Boy Jack'.

An anthology by Andrew Lycett.

Although Rudyard Kipling never fought, he was one of Britiain's foremost observers of and commentators on war. Through his writing, the voices of countless soldiers and the guns of many battles echo through the years and place Kipling firmly among the leading practitioners of 19th and 20th century war literature.

Available from,

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 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, quoting the code 9VL at the checkout stage.

Kipling Abroad, Traffics and Discoveries from Burma to Brazil

A selection of his most descriptive and revealing travel writing, introduced and edited by Andrew Lycett, published on January 11th 2010 by I.B.Tauris.

In Time's Eye
New Perspectives

A 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 complete edition
of Kipling's verse

Professor Thomas Pinney's magisterial three-volume complete edition of the verse is 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.

Kipling and Trix
A 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 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:

A Kipling Fellowship
at Cambridge

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 ( will be glad to advise further.

Kipling in Afghanistan

Fred Lerner reports that Radio Nederland's program, "The State We're In", is broadcast on many public radio stations in the USA. A recent instalment, was called "Mightier than the Sword". It included an interview with "a former Afghan governor who uses the power of poetry to bring peace to warring factions". When asked his favorite poem, he recited (in English and from memory) "If—" .

The broadcast can be heard via the RNW web-site.

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

Man and Mason

Kipling and Freemasonry

This study 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

Oak and Ash and Thorn

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 Cat that Walked
by Himself

The British Library has published an 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

Kipling read aloud

The Librivox on line audio library offers files of various poems and stories by Kipling which can be freely downloaded.

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 or acquiring 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.

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 (

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, is 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.

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

"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

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

A painting of Rottingdean

This painting (44 x 59 cm) in oils by Jean Farnsworth (1976), of Rottingdean, where Kipling lived before he moved to Bateman's, is available for sale at £330. If you are interested in acquiring it, please contact Mr H Boehm (phone 0115 9119746)

Rudyard Kipling
A literary life, by Philip Mallett

This 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.

Kipling's America

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 collection David Stewart brings them all together, in their original form, with an illuminating commentary.

A map of Bateman's

A member of the Kipling Society, 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 is offering a reduced version of the work, measuring 45cms by 22cms, with a white border of 4cms, to anyone interested, at a price of £6.00 plus postage. If you are interested in acquiring a copy, you can get in touch with him at

Proofs of Holy Writ

There has been much interest lately in
'Proofs of Holy Writ', Kipling's last tale. It 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 are glad to report that we have now published it on this site, by kind agreement of the National Trust.

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.

John Kipling's body was never found, but in 1992 the War Graves Commission announced that a grave in St Mary's Military Cemetery had been identified as his, and this view has been backed by the Ministry of Defence. As they explain in this fascinating book the Holts, who have gone into the story in great detail, remain sceptical about the official view.

The Irish Guards in the Great War

Readers will be interested to know that 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.

Modern translations of Kipling
into Russian.

Three 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 to explain some of the 'English-isms' and subtleties of Kipling's tales.

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 The cost is €14.00, plus postage and packing.

'The Hated Wife'
Carrie Kipling 1862-1939

Adam Nicolson's study of Carrie Kipling was published in 2001 by Short Books. Drawing on a rich archive of diaries and letters, he exposes some of the tensions at the heart of the Kipling's 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.'

Two recent books

If, the untold story of Kipling’s American Years
(Penguin Random House, 2019)

In 1892, after marrying an American wife, Kipling made his home for four years near Brattleboro in Vermont, where he wrote some of his most celebrated works.

This is a new exploration of his life and work in Gilded Age America, from a celebrated scholar of American literature. Christopher Benfey is the Mellon Professor of English at Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts.

A Soldier’s Kipling, Poetry and the Profession of Arms
(Pen and Sword, 2018)

Edward J. Erickson is a retired regular U.S. Army officer at the Marine Corps University who has written widely on the Ottoman Army during World War I, including the campaigns in Palestine and Gallipoli.

He observes that although not a soldier himself, Kipling was writing of timeless themes of military and wartime service, the experience of combat, unit cohesion, and individual courage. This is an original contribution to the understanding of his verse.

The two-sided Man

Following his selection of Kipling's poetry, The Surprising Mr Kipling, Brian Harris has produced a follow-up anthology of his short stories, The two-sided Man.

Together with some of Kipling's finest tales, the book deals with the charges of racialism and imperialism that have been levelled against him, as well as his attitude towards politics and religion. Asked why we should read Kipling today. Brian Harris writes:
Kipling should be read for the same reasons we turn to any great writer, for the beauty, lucidity and force of his prose and for his perspicacity and insights. Here is someone who paid the respect that is due, but not always accorded even now, to the alien, the poor and the oppressed.

As the unofficial spokesman of the greatest empire in the history of the world he described accurately and sympathetically the lives of the peoples living under its jurisdiction. Though no orthodox believer, he prized and in his writings illustrated, the great Christian virtues of charity, compassion and forgiveness, as well as the more modest British virtue of toleration. Nor is it possible to read his stories without being surprised by the light they so often throw on the eternal mysteries of love, pain and loss.
Like The Surprising Mr Kipling, The two-sided Man is published by CreateSpace and is currently available from Amazon at £9.38 (+ p.&p.)

Rudyard Kipling
The definitive bibliography

The launch in February 2010 of his authoritative bibliography of Rudyard Kipling by David Alan Richards was a major publishing event for Kipling scholars and collectors.

Click here
for a list of recent additions and corrections to the work.

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 Library to Members of the Kipling Society at the special price of £110. Please address initial enquiries to the Society via

"Fringes of the Fleet" by Elgar and others - a recent 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. v

For further information phone 020 8398 1586, email to, 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 by Richard J. Stacpoole-Ryding tells the story of this fine Victorian Regiment. Copies can be ordered from this website. It is also available via Amazon,

This week's quotations
(November 1st to 16th)

Can you identify these extracts ?

1. '...I made haste, the river aiding me, but ere I had touched the shoal, the pulse of the stream beat, as it were, within me and around, and, behold, the shoal was gone, and I rode high on the crest of a wave that ran from bank to bank…the rain came and lashed the water white, and I heard no more save the roar of the waters below and the roar of the rain above…'

2. "...A tarred road, she shoots every drop o' water into a valley same's a slate roof. 'Tisn't as 'twas in the old days, when the water soaked in and soaked out in the way o' nature. It rooshes off they tarred roads all of a lump, and naturally every drop is bound to descend into the valley..."

3. ...There was not so much a roar as the purposeful drive of a tide across a jagged reef, which put down every other sound for twenty minutes. A wide sheet of water hurried up to the little terrace on which the house stood, pushed round every corner, rose again and stretched, as it were, yawning beneath the moonlight, joined other sheets waiting for them in unsuspected hollows, and lay out all in one. A puff of wind followed...

For the sources of these extracts click here

To suggest other quotations for this feature, click here

Kipling's Sussex

Kipling wrote evocatively, in many stories and poems, of his beloved adopted county.

This long-awaited 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.

Literary tours

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 (

Kipling's early childhood

There are plans for the restoration 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 of Australia

David Watts has been instrumental in relaunching the Kipling Society of Australia with successful and well-attended meetings and their own web-site.

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 recent study of Kipling;s writings, and sponsored by the Society.
Click here for abstracts of the papers given.

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.

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.

Kipling, by Jad Adams

This recent biography of Kipling, published by Haus Books in 2005, is by Jad Adams, who addressed the Kipling Society on April 11th. 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).

Kipling and the Swastika

(A Ganesha plaque by Lockwood Kipling)

There has been a lively correspondence on the Kipling Mailbase discussion group about Kipling's use of the Swastika. You may be interested in taking a look at Michael Smith's article on the subject on this site.

The New Readers' Guide

Work continues on the New Readers' Guide to the works of Rudyard Kipling, which can be found on this site. The project is a great collective endeavour by Kipling scholars and specialists around the world, and is well advanced. We hope that itwill be interesting and helpful to Kipling readers old and new.

Click here for details

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

Two recent editions

Barrack-Room Ballads

A paperback edition of Barrack-room Ballads has recently been published in Signet Classics with an Introduction and Annotation by Andrew Lycett.
(ISBN 0-451-52886-7)

Un Taureau intelligent...
et autres contes cruels

Readers who are interested in foreign language translations of Kipling may like to see yhis 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 recent (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.'

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...'

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. '

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.

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 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.

The Just So Songbook

Jeffery Lewins has produced a delightful CD of Edward German's settings of the songs that accompany 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 price £12.50 in the UK, or £13.50 overseas.

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...'

'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' 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's Forgotten Sister

A recent 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:

'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 at a price of $AU25.00 (approx £8.70) If you wish to order a copy, please email Peter at

Kipling Down Under

In 1891, the 25-year-old Rudyard Kipling, newly risen into world fame, spent two weeks in Australia, mostly in Melbourne, where he was received with all the curiosity and interest due to a celebrity. 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.

The book is edited by Rosalind Kennedy and Thomas Pinney , and is available from Amazon, or your local bookstore.

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. 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.

Rudyard Kipling Readings,
by Ralph Fiennes
at Bateman's

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)

This web-site

The web-site continues to be popular, with over a million visitors since we launched in 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.

Staying in Naulakha

A correspondent has reminded us that RK's house in Vermont can be rented by holidaymakers. It has four dounle bedrooms, and has been restored to a high standard.

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 American site.

Post-Colonial Kipling

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. There were four major themes, Kipling: a post-colonial assessment, Kipling and women, Kipling and film, and Kipling in translation.

Recent editions of the rarer works

David Page has reported:
The IMDb site (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.

There seem to be three recent series of reprints of RK's rarer works. Examples drawn from these lists are:

Fredonia Books (NL) have a paperback series (usually $24.95 per volume) including:

Abaft the Funnel
France at War
Eyes of Asia
Sea Warfare
The Naulahka

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:

Schoolboy Lyrics
An Almanack of Twelve Sports
From Sea to Sea

'The Long Trail
Kipling Round the World'

Meryl Macdonald's study of Kipling the globe-trotter is available - price £16.95 (inc. p & p) from Tideway House, PO Box 26, BRISTOL, BS9 1YH.

This unusual non-literary biography discloses the man behind the name and its 'received' image; reveals why he wrote so compellingly about the sea and ships; had a love affair with steam and motive power, and became a pioneer motorist at the turn of the century.'

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)

IMDb has 14 pages on films based on RK's works, starting with 'The Vampire' in 1910, and lists the videos of them available in the UK and USA. 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.

Just So Stories on CD

A 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, 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.

To make your first membership payment click here You will also need to register your details:

For a membership registration form click here ,

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 Sendall 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.

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 available from the Rivendale Press in High Wycombe, price £25.00 including p & p anywhere in the world.

The letters demonstrate vividly the young RK's grasp of the technicalities of book production, his down to earth commercial instincts, and his early determination not to be done down by his publishers.

To place an order you can phone Rivendale Press on +44 (0) 1494 562 266 or email them to You can also visit their web-site.

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

The 1890's | Forthcoming events | The Kipling Society | Joining on line
The Kipling Library | This web-site | This week's quotations
RK on film| New editions of the rarer works| Selected Poetry of RK
RK by Andrew Lycett | 'The Hated Wife'
Kipling's Forgotten Sister | The Long Trail, by Meryl Macdonald
Staying in Burwash | Ralph Fiennes reads Kipling | The Cambridge Conference
'If..' set to music | The 'If..'manuscript | The 'If..'poster
Railway Library Facsimiles | Proofs of Holy Writ | Barrack-room Ballads on CD
The Jungle Play | Kipling Down Under | Staying in Naulakha
The Irish Guards in the Great War | 'The Long Recessional'