Despite the fact that he died over seventy-five years ago there continues to be a steady flow of books and papers about aspects of the life and work of Rudyard Kipling. Since the year 2000 these include:
Imperial Beast Fables, by Kaori Nagai
Kipling in India, India in Kipling, Harish Trivedi and Jan Montefiore (Eds.)
Mr and Mrs Lockwood Kipling, from the Punjab to Tisbury Christina Richarrd
Something of Themselves, Conan Doyle, Mary Kingsley and Rudyard Kipling, by Sarah LeFanu
In Time’s Eye, Essays on Rudyard Kipling, edited by Jan Montefiore
Kipling and Beyond, Patriotism, Globalisation and Postcolonialism. edited by Caroline Rooney and Kaoori Nagai
If, the Untold Story of Kipling’s America,by Christopher Benfey
A Soldier’s Kipling, Poetry and the Profession of Arms, by Edward Erickson
Lockwood Kipling: Arts and Crafts in the Punjab and London, by Julius Bryant, Susan Weber, et al.
The Surprising Mr Kipling, an anthology and re-assessment of the poetry of Rudyard Kipling, edited by Brian Harris
The two-sided Man, An anthology of Kipling’s short stories,edited by Brian Harris.
Rudyard Kipling, The definitive bibliography, by David Alan Richards
Rudyard Kipling, by Andrew Lycett
The Cambridge Edition of Kipling’s Poems, edited by Thomas Pinney
Kipling’s At of Fiction by David Sergeant
Kipling: Life, Love, and Art by William Dillingham
Meeting Without Knowing It: Kipling and Yeats at the Fin de Siècle by Alex Bubb
Kipling and War, from ‘Tommy’ to ‘My Boy Jack’, an anthology by Andrew Lycett
Kipling and the Sea, Voyages and Discoveries, an anthology by Andrew Lycett
Kipling Abroad, Traffics and Discoveries from Burma to Brazil, an anthology by Andrew Lycett
The Unforgiving Minute, the life of Rudyard Kipling, by Harry Ricketts
The Long Recessional: The Imperial Life of Rudyard Kipling, by David Gilmour
Kipling Sahib: India and the Making of Rudyard Kipling by Charles Allen
Kipling and Trix, a Novel, by Mary Hamer
Rudyard Kipling, a literary life, by Philip Mallett
My Boy Jack?: the Search for Kipling’s Only Son, by Tonie and Valmai Holt
The Hated Wife’ Carrie Kipling 1862-1939, by Adamj Nicolson
A Circle of Sisters, by Judith Flanders
Kipling Down Under, edited by Rosalind Kennedy and Thomas Pinney
Kipling’s America, edited by David Stewart
Imperial Beast Fables: Animals, Cosmopolitanism, and the British Empire –
by Kaori Nagai
Dr Nagai coins the term ‘imperial beast fable’ to explore modern forms of human-animal relationships and their origins in the British Empire. Taking as a starting point the long nineteenth-century fascination with non-European beast fables, she examines literary reworkings of these fables, such as Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Books, in relation to the global politics of race, language, and species.
The imperial beast fable figures variably as a key site where the nature and origins of mankind are hotly debated; an emerging space of conservation in which humans enclose animals to manage and control them; a cage in which an animal narrator talks to change its human jailors; and a vision of animal cosmopolitanism, in which a close kinship between humans and other animals is dreamt of. Written at the intersection of animal studies and postcolonial studies, this book proposes that the beast fable embodies the ideologies and values of the British Empire, while also covertly critiquing them. It therefore finds in the beast fable the possibility that the multitudinous animals it gives voice to might challenge the imperial networks which threaten their existence, both in the nineteenth century and today. [Palgrave Macmillan 2020]
Kipling in India, India in Kipling
edited by Harish Trivedi and Jan Montefiore
This book is based on the Conference in 2016 in Shimla, which brought together scholars from India and world-wide. It explores and re-evaluates Kipling’s connection with India, its people, culture, languages, and locales through his experiences and his writings. It highlights the astonishing social and thematic range of his Indian writings as represented in The Jungle Books; Kim; his early verse; his Simla-based tales of Anglo-Indian intrigues and love affairs; his stories of the common Indian people; and his journalism. It brings together different theoretical and contextual readings of Kipling to examine how his experience of India influenced his creative work and conversely how his imperial loyalties conditioned his creative engagement with India. The eighteen chapters here engage with the complexities and contradictions in his writings and analyses the historical and political contexts in which he wrote them, and the contexts in which we read him now. [Routledge India, 2020]
Mr & Mrs Lockwood Kipling, from the Punjab to Tisbury
by Christina Richard
John Lockwood Kipling (1837-1911), a Yorkshire-born artist, teacher, and illustrator, met Alice MacDonald (1837-1910), a poet, while working in the Potteries. Their son was named after Rudyard Lake, in Staffordshire, where they had walked together. He was born in 1865 shortly after they had moved to India, where Lockwood became Principal of the new Jeejeebhoy School of Art in Mumbai.
He later moved to Lahore in the Punjab as Principal of the Mayo School of Art, and Curator of the Museum, which figures in Kim as ‘The Wonder House’. He became an authority on Indian arts and crafts. He took a strong interest in Rudyard’s work, and father and son often talked over Rudyard’s projects before and after Lockwood’s retirement to Tisbury in Wiltshire in 1895. [Hobnob Press 2021]
Something of Themselves
by Sarah LeFanu
What compelled three well-known British writers to leave their homes and travel 6,000 miles to participate in a nasty late-19th-century conflict in the far-off South African veldt? This question lies at the heart of Sarah LeFanu’s excellent analysis of how Rudyard Kipling, Arthur Conan Doyle and Mary Kingsley found themselves following the flag in Britain’s last imperial war.
They were all slightly outside the British establishment and eager to prove themselves — Kipling with his Indian origins, Conan Doyle born in Scotland of Irish parentage and Kingsley through her gender. Finally, LeFanu suggests, they were fleeing private traumas. (Andrew Lycett, in The Spectator, 15 February 2020.) [Hurst 2020]
In Time’s Eye, Essays on Rudyard Kipling
edited by Jan Montefiore
This collection of essays on Kipling was inspired by the 2007 conference in Canterbury, commemorating the centenary of award of the Nobel Prize to Rudyard Kipling in 1907, three of its chapters being based on papers given at that conference. Its overarching theme is Kipling’s writing in relation to history, which these essays address in different ways and from different perspectives.
Kipling’s brief elegy for the vanity of human deeds brings together three themes of this collection of essays: the subjection of his own work and reputation to those processes of time and change of which his poem warns; his relationship to historical institutions of rule and dominance named as ‘Thrones and Powers’; and his many-sided artistry, manifested in this ironic vision of the fall of ancient empires mediated through echoes of Milton and Herrick. [Manchester University Press 2013]
Kipling and Beyond, Patriotism, Globalisation and Postcolonialism
Edited by Caroline Rooney and Kaori Nagai
Featuring an internationally distinguished list of contributors, Kipling and Beyond reassesses Kipling’s texts and their reception in order to explore new approaches in postcolonial studies. The collection asks why Kipling continues to be a significant cultural icon and what this legacy means in the context of today’s Anglo-American globalization.
‘ ‘Why Kipling today?’ is the question that the editors of Kipling and Beyond ask, the answer to which is persuasively and meticulously explored in this most excellent collection of essays by an internationally eminent field of scholars….In conclusion, the essays in this volume offer throughtful and nuanced readings of Kipling’s texts. [Palgrave Macmillan 2020]
If, the Untold Story of Kipling’s America
by Christopher Benfey
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.
[Penguin Random House, 2019]
A Soldier’s Kipling, Poetry and the Profession of Arms
by Edward Erickson
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.
[Pen and Sword 2018]
Lockwood Kipling: Arts and Crafts in the Punjab and London
by Julius Bryant, Susan Weber, et al.
From January 14th to April 2nd 2017, at the Victoria and Albert Museum, there was a groundbreaking exhibition, curated by Prof. Sandra Kemp, the then Deputy Chairman of the Kipling Society, showing many pictures and artefacts never before displayed.
It explored the life and work of Lockwood Kipling (right), (1837-1911), Rudyard’s father. Author of Beast and Man in India, he was a distinguished teacher, curator and designer, who had a strong influence on his son’s writings. Later in the year the exhibition moved to New York, and to India. This book accompanied the exhibition. [Y.U.P. 2017]
The Surprising Mr Kipling
An anthology and re-assessment of the poetry of Rudyard Kipling, edited by by Brian Harris
Kipling is seen by some as a stuffy Victorian imperialist devoid of the finer sensibilities. In fact, as Brian Harris contends in this new anthology, his poetry deals with the timeless themes of pain and suffering, forgiveness and redemption, love and hate.
Concerned with ‘the mere uncounted folk’ he berated officialdom for averting its eyes from the poor and hungry peasantry of India and dragged the dirt and squalor of the battlefield into England’s elegant parlours. Familiarity, the author argues, has dulled the effect of Kipling’s most well known pieces, while other, equally fine, poems have been neglected.
The two-sided Man
An anthology of Kipling’s short stories, edited by Brian Harris
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.
The definitive bibliography
By David Alan Richards
The launch in February 2010 of this authoritative bibliography of Rudyard Kipling by David Alan Richards was a major publishing event for Kipling scholars and collectors.
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. [Oak Knoll 2010]
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. [Weidenfeld and Nicolson 2015]
The Cambridge edition of Kipling’s poems
Edited by Thomas Pinney
Professor Thomas Pinney’s magisterial three-volume complete edition of the verse was published in 2013 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.
This splendid collection is priced at £200, but Cambridge University Press are offering it to members of the Kipling Society at a 20% discount. Contact email@example.com for further information. [Cambridge University Press 2013]
Kipling’s At of Fiction, 1884-1901
by David Sergeant
Through extended close readings of individual works, and unprecedentedly detailed attention to changes in location and readership, Sergeant distinguishes between two kinds of Kipling fiction. The first is coercive and concerned with the authoritarian control of meaning; the second relates less directly to its immediate historical surroundings and is more aesthetically complex. Misunderstandings have often resulted from confusing the two kinds of work. Distinguishing between them allows for a newly coherent account of Kipling’s career, both explaining his artistic achievement and making clearer his identity as a political writer.
Kipling: Life, Love, and Art
by William B. Dillingham
The book’s focus is on major short stories, mainly from Kipling’s later period, but beginning with an earlier work, ”The Finest Story in the World,” and concluding with ”Teem, a Treasure Hunter.” Dillingham selects for his analysis stories that are demonstrably in need of reassessment. ”We find that frequently at their core,” he remarks, “are matters that deal with the heart of his craft and subjects that pervade his writings: life, how it should and should not be lived; love, what is healthy about it and what is perilous; and Art, what it is in broad terms proper work and how crucially important it is to one’s sense of identity.”
[E.L.T. Press 2013]
Meeting Without Knowing It: Kipling and Yeats at the Fin de Siècle
by Alexander Bubb
Meeting Without Knowing It compares Rudyard Kipling and W.B. Yeats in the formative phase of their careers, from their births in 1865 up to 1903. The argument consists of parallel readings wed to a biographic structure. Reading the two poets in parallel often yields remarkable discursive echoes. For example, both men were similarly preoccupied with the visual arts, with heroism, with folklore, balladry and the demotic voice. Both struck vatic postures, and made bids for public authority premised on an appeal to what they considered the ‘mythopoeic’ impulse in fin de siècle culture. The book identifies these mutual echoes in their poetry and political rhetoric, before charting them against intersections in their lives.
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. [IB Tauris 2015]
Kipling and the Sea, Voyages and Discoveries
An anthology by Andrew Lycett.
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 http://bit.ly/1b0t0uG, quoting the code 9VL at the checkout stage. [IB Tauris 2014]
Kipling Abroad, Traffics and Discoveries from Burma to Brazil
An anthology by Andrew Lycett.
A selection of his most descriptive and revealing travel writing, introduced and edited by Andrew Lycett. [IB Tauris 2010]
The Unforgiving Minute, the Life of Rudyard Kipling
by Harry Ricketts
A vivid study of Kipling’s life in relation to his work, cutting through the myths that surround him.
Ricketts refuses to let Kipling have the last word on his own life, constantly pointing up the inconsistencies in Kipling’s political positions and actions and locating the impetus for Kipling’s obsession with hatred and orphanhood in his troubled childhood. [Pimlico 2000]
The Long Recessional: The Imperial Life of Rudyard Kipling
by David Gilmour
This 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.
Kipling Sahib: India and the Making of Rudyard Kipling
by Charles Allen
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, was 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.
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.
As young children, Rudyard Kipling and his sister Trix flourished in the brilliant warmth and colour of India. Their happiness ended abruptly when they were sent back to England to live with a strict and god-fearing foster family. Both became writers, although one lived in the shadow of the other s extraordinary success.
The name Rudyard Kipling is known to millions, but what became of his talented younger sister? She was careful to hide her secret life even from those closest to her. Mary Hamer s fascinating novel brings both Kipling and Trix vividly to life. In this fictionalised account of their lives, she goes to the heart of the relationship between a difficult brother and his troubled sister. Hamer peels back the historical record to reveal the obsessions which fuelled Kipling and his sister. Was he really better equipped to deal with conflict, heartbreak and loss than his beloved Trix? An award-winning novel.
Rudyard Kipling, a literary life
by Philip Mallet
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.
My Boy Jack?: the Search for Kipling’s Only Son
An updated edition of this classic closely researched study by Toni and Valmai Holt published by Leo Cooper/Pen & Sword, It tells the sad tale of the life and early death on the battlefield of John Kipling, Rudyard Kipling’s only son.
John Kipling, a subaltern in the irish Guards, was killed at the age of eighteen at the battle of Loos in 1915. His body was never found, and for a while the Kiplings hoped against hope that he had survived and been taken prisoner.
The Hated Wife’ Carrie Kipling 1862-1939
by Adam Nicilson
Adam Nicolson’s study of Carrie Kipling is published by Short Books. Drawing on a rich archive of diaries and letters, he has exposed the tensions at the heart of the Kiplings’ 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.’
A Circle of Sisters
by Judith Flanders
Rudyard Kipling’s mother was one of the remarkable Macdonald sisters, four 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.
This study by Judith Flanders’ of the Macdonald 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’. [Viking]
Kipling Down Under
Edited by Rosalind Kennedy and Thomas Pinney
In 1891, the 25-year-old Rudyard Kipling, newly risen into world fame through the publication of The Light that Failed’, ‘Plain Tales from the Hills, and other stories of India, set off alone on a tour of the Southern hemisphere.
For two weeks he was in Australia, mostly in Melbourne, where he was received with great curiosity and interest. 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 from interviews and articles of the time.
Edited by David Stewart
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 published by the ELT Press at the University of North Carolina, David Stewart brings them all together, in their original form, with an illuminating commentary.
David Page, former Editor of the Kipling Journal has commented:
“…when you read Prof Stewart’s book, you will read the handiwork of that 23 year-old in all its ebullient glory – Kipling writing for his Anglo-Indian audience, paying his way from his earnings, and clearly not stinting…Kipling paints the American scene literally with his pen; delights in the people that he meets, foibles and all; exults over the salmon and trout that he conquers; and tells us what he really thinks of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.
The book is available from Amazon at a price of £35.00 but we have been able to arrange for a special price to members of the Society of £16.95 (including postage) for readers in the UK, or €25.95 for readers in Europe. Please send a sterling or Euro cheque in favour of The Kipling Society to: Bay Tree House, Doomsday Garden, Horsham, W Sussex RH13 6LB, U.K..