Published in the Morning Post (London), December 20th 1927, and in Liberty (New York) on March 31st 1928. Collected in Brazilian Sketches, Doubleday Doran, New York, 1940, in the Sussex Edition Vol. xxi, and in an edition by P E Waters and Associates in 1989.
Notes on the Text
cowtick Kipling was well aware of the damage that in many parts of the world cattle-ticks – burrowing insects which live on their hosts – can do, in spreading fever and parasites and weakening cattle.
an Assam planter’s bungalow The house reminded Kipling of comfortable timber houses where tea planters in India lived. Assam, near the border with Bangladesh,
is the largest tea-growing district in the world, and Assam growers then and now would have no doubt of the supreme excellence of their tea.
Charlestoned The ‘Charlestone’ is an exuberant dance, with many side-kicks from the knee, named after its place of origin in South Carolina in the United States, fashionable in the 1920s and revived from time to time since.
The Brazilian has been established here four hundred years and more The land now called Brazil was claimed by the Portuguese in April 1500, at the arrival of the Portuguese fleet commanded by Pedro Álvares Cabral. Colonization was effectively started in 1534, when King Dom João III divided the territory into twelve hereditary captaincies, but this proved an utter disaster, and in 1549 the king assigned a Governor-General to administer the entire colony. [Wikipedia].
the Dole ‘Unemployment Benefit’, paid in Britain by the state to people out of work. Kipling is suggesting that in comparison with Britain, food was cheap in Brazil, and poverty not such a serious matter.
had Moscow permitted England to get to work Kipling is referring to the British General Strike, the culmination of a period of serious industrial unrest, which brought Britain to a standstill for ten days in May 1926. The Soviet Union, as the heartland of communism, and committed to World Revolution, was seen by some as a sinister influence behind the scenes in such disputes.
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