Verses on the Charleville Hotel, Mussoorie

(notes by Philip Holberton drawing on the research of Andrew Rutherford and Thomas Pinney)


In the late summer of 1888 Mrs Edmonia Hill made two albums of her husband Alex ‘s photographs. One was raffled for the benefit of Trinity Church, Allahabad. The Hills kept the other themselves; it is now in the Library of Congress.

See “A Ballade of Photographs” In that album Kipling wrote verses under two photographs of the Charleville Hotel, Mussoorie, where he had visited the Hills in June 1888. The first, under a photo of the office, reads:

And there were men with a thousand wants
And women with babes galore—
But the dear little angels in Heaven know
That Wutzler never swore.

(H. Wutzler was the hotel manager.)

The second—this one about the passing of the season—is inscribed under a photo with the caption ‘Quarters at the Charleville, April-July 88.’


©Philip Holberton 2020 All rights reserved