Inscription in a copy of In Black and White presented to Mrs Hill

 (notes by Philip Holberton)


The Kipling Journal, No. 189, March 1974, reported the sale of the collection of the late David Gage Joyce in Chicago on 23-24 September 1973:

The most interesting item was a copy of In Black and White […] with the following verses on the title-page in Kipling’s hand. They were signed ‘The Author’.

They are also to be found in Rutherford (p. 456) and Pinney (p. 1938).  We have dated them to January 1890 when In Black and White was published. [J.W.]

The Poem

Kipling writes in the Cockney idiom that he puts in the mouth of Private Stanley Ortheris in the stories about the ‘Soldiers Three’ and which he uses for many later poems about soldiers in Barrack Room Ballads.

See also “To These People” for Kipling’s friendship with the Hills.

Notes on the Text

Belvedere was the Hills’ house at Allahabad.

hern an obsolete form of ‘hers’ as in ‘yourn’ and ‘hisn’


©Philip Holberton 2020 All rights reserved