The Coiner

(notes by John McGivering and John Radcliffe)


First published in The Story-Teller for December 1931 with “A Naval Mutiny”. Collected with “A Naval Mutiny” in Limits and Renewals (1932), the Sussex Edition Volume 11, page 173 and Volume 14, page 412, and The Works of Rudyard Kipling (Wordsworth Poetry Library).

Other titles for the poem include ”Shakespeare and “The Tempest”, “The Vision of the Enchanted Island”, and “The Birth of ‘The Tempest’.

See our notes on “How Shakespeare came to write The Tempest”. Also KJ 154/8, 156/05, and 233/60, 299/09. Also a letter from Roger Lancelyn Green, the Editor of the Kipling Journal to The Times of 20 March 1965. (see ORG Volume 5, page 2528).

Notes on the Text

[Verse 1] the Bermudas a group of islands in the Atlantic Ocean some 600 miles off the coast of the United States.

Master responsible for sailing the vessel under the general direction of the Admiral

Swabber one who washes the decks, etc.

Bo’sun responsible for masts, sails and rigging

[Verse 4] Dover a port in Kent on the South coast of England

Southwark then a suburb of London, on the South bank opposite

the City The City of London. The Globe Theatre, where many of Shakespeare’s plays were staged, was outside the jurisdiction of the Lord Mayor . A replica of the theatre (right) was opened in 1997 in the South Bank of the Thames.

[Verse 6] Mulled sack a white wine from Spain, warmed up with spices – a ‘punch’.

[Verse 7] A Coiner One who makes counterfeit money – in this context, however, a writer who turns a plain narrative into a wonderful story, like Shakespeare – or Kipling.

[Verse 8] A crown or five shillings, twenty-five pence in decimal currency, worth some £45 in 2008 values.

We bit them and rang them tests for counterfeit coins.


©John McGivering and John Radcliffe 2020 All rights reserved