Biography (Dictionary of World Biography: The 19th Century)
Article abstract: The author of several books of extraordinary insight about the realm of childhood, as well as some stirring popular poetry sympathetic to the British soldier, Kipling’s greatest accomplishment was his depiction of life in India at the close of the nineteenth century.
Rudyard Kipling was born in 1865 in India, one year after his father had accepted a position as a teacher of architecture in Bombay. His parents both came from prominent but not wealthy families, and the promise of a reliable source of income was sufficient inducement for the Kiplings to leave England. Rudyard Kipling always recalled his childhood in India as a time of exceptional happiness, a paradisiacal existence in an Edenic setting where he was treated like a young god by a loving family and many friendly local servants. This idyll came to an end in 1871, when his parents, in accordance with British cultural expectations about hygiene, social status, and racial purity, sent him to England to board with a retired sea captain in Southsea. For the next six years, Kipling lived in what he called “The House of Desolation,” severely disciplined by the captain’s widow. The only pleasure he had during this time was his holiday visits to the home of his uncle Edward Burne-Jones, the renowned Pre-Raphaelite painter, in whose “magical domain” Kipling learned the stories of the “Arabian Nights” from family group...
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The writings of Rudyard Kipling have long been controversial. As an author unafraid to expose his personal political and social beliefs to his readers, Kipling voiced his views not only through the actions of his characters, but also through public meetings, the courts, and the press. Censorship of his work goes back to 1898, when his new book A Fleet in Being: Notes of Two Trips with the Channel Squadron was suppressed by the British Government because it allegedly revealed Royal Navy secrets. (Copies of the book are now rare.)
Kipling’s Just So Stories for Little Children (1902) have been attacked as part of Canada’s Impressions reading series. One story, for example, has been singled out for its use of the word “nigger.” Even Kipling’s widely known poem “Gunga Din” has been removed from some Canadian libraries as a result of pressure from groups claiming that the poem is “violent and racist and unsuitable for a multicultural society.”
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Biography (Critical Survey of Short Fiction, Second Revised Edition)
Joseph Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay, India, in 1865. His father, John Lockwood Kipling, was an artist and teacher. His mother, Alice Macdonald Kipling, was from a family of exceptional sisters. One married the Pre-Raphaelite painter, Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, and another was the mother of Stanley Baldwin, the British prime minister in the years between the two world wars.
As was customary at the time, Rudyard and his younger sister remained in England when their parents returned to India, and Kipling dramatized his misery at being left behind in his later writings. He attended a second-rank private school that prepared middle-class boys for careers in the military; small, not athletic, and forced to wear glasses, Kipling was not an outstanding or popular student, but his literary interests proved a defense and a consolation. The university was not an option for him, primarily for financial reasons, and he returned to India, where his parents had found a position for him on an English-language newspaper.
Kipling was fascinated by India. Often unable to sleep, he spent his nights wandering the streets. He had written some poetry as a schoolboy and continued to do so, while also composing newspaper sketches featuring his Anglo-Indian environment. By the end of the 1880’s, he had already published several volumes of short stories and poems. No British writer since Charles Dickens had become so well known, and Kipling was only in his...
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Biography (Critical Survey of Long Fiction, Fourth Edition)
Joseph Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay (now Mumbai), India, on December 30, 1865. His father, John Lockwood Kipling of Yorkshire, England, was a scholar and an artist. The elder Kipling went to India as a professor of architectural sculpture in the Bombay School of Fine Arts and later became curator of the Lahore Museum, which Kipling was to describe meticulously in Kim. He also served as the Bombay correspondent of The Pioneer of Allahabad. In 1891, he published Beast and Man in India with the help of A. P. Watt, his son’s literary agent. The book contains excerpts from Rudyard Kipling’s newspaper reports to the Civil and Military Gazette. The book provided inspiration for Kipling’s Jungle Book stories and several others: “The Mark of the Beast,” “The Finances of the Gods,” and “Moti Guj, Mutineer” are some examples.
Kipling’s mother, Alice Macdonald, was one of five Macdonald sisters, three of whom married into prominent families. Georgina Macdonald married the distinguished Pre-Raphaelite painter Sir Edward Burne-Jones; Agnes Macdonald married another painter, Sir Edward Poynter, who was influential in helping John Kipling obtain a position in India; and a third sister married Alfred Baldwin, the railroad owner, whose son Stanley Baldwin became prime minister of England. Kipling was therefore connected with creative and intellectually stimulating families through his mother, while from his...
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Biography (Critical Survey of Poetry: British, Irish, & Commonwealth Poets)
Joseph Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay (now Mumbai), India, on December 30, 1865. His parents were John Lockwood Kipling and Alice (née Macdonald) Kipling. His father was then a sculptor and designer and was principal and professor of architectural sculpture of the School of Art at Bombay, and he later became curator of the museum at Lahore. His mother came from a family of accomplished women. John Lockwood Kipling set many of the high standards for literary skill that Rudyard endeavored to match in both fiction and poetry. Both parents encouraged their son’s literary efforts and took pride in his achievements.
Except for a brief visit to England, Rudyard Kipling spent his first five years in India. In 1871, he was taken with his sister Alice to England and left with Captain and Mrs. Holloway of Lorne Lodge in Southsea. After several unhappy years in the ungentle care of Mrs. Holloway, he left Lorne Lodge in 1877. In 1878, he was sent to United Services College in Devon. In 1882, he traveled to Lahore, where his father had found him a job as a reporter for the Civil and Military Gazette. He had seen little of his parents since 1871. Somewhat to his annoyance, he discovered that his parents had gathered the verses from his letters to them and had them published as Schoolboy Lyrics in 1881. In 1887, he joined the staff of the Pioneer of Allahabad, which he left in 1889. His experiences in England figure in many of his...
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Early Life (Dictionary of World Biography: The 19th Century)
Rudyard Kipling was born in 1865 in India, one year after his father had accepted a position as a teacher of architecture in Bombay. His parents both came from prominent but not wealthy families, and the promise of a reliable source of income was sufficient inducement for the Kiplings to leave England. Rudyard Kipling always recalled his childhood in India as a time of exceptional happiness, a paradisiacal existence in an Edenic setting where he was treated like a young god by a loving family and many friendly local servants. This idyll came to an end in 1871, when his parents, in accordance with British cultural expectations about hygiene, social status, and racial purity, sent him to England to board with a retired sea captain in Southsea. For the next six years, Kipling lived in what he called “The House of Desolation,” severely disciplined by the captain’s widow. The only pleasure he had during this time was his holiday visits to the home of his uncle Edward Burne-Jones, the renowned Pre-Raphaelite painter, in whose “magical domain” Kipling learned the stories of the “Arabian Nights” from family group readings, and from whom he developed an appreciation for games of language and wit, for stories of invention and surprise, and for the eclectic decor of the Burne-Jones home.
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Life’s Work (Dictionary of World Biography: The 19th Century)
Kipling’s return to the land of his birth gave him a renewed access to places and situations which fired his imagination and gave a direction to his tremendous latent creative energy. From his parents’ place in Anglo-Indian society, he was able to get a clear picture of the workings of the British colonial administration. His journalistic assignments enabled him to learn about the daily life of the British soldiers “at the ready,” and his desire to learn about Indian culture took him on excursions across much of the subcontinent. In 1885, in collaboration with his parents and his sister, he published Quartette, including his first major short story, “The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes,” a powerful evocation of the fears of the rulers who recognized the precariousness of their position in a country torn by mutiny only twenty years before. In 1886, the year of his majority, he published Departmental Ditties, poems primarily about life among the civil servants based in Simla, the summer home for the Viceroy of India. Kipling’s stories had become a regular feature of The Civil and Military Gazette, and the pace of his work drove him to the limits of his energy. Between November, 1886, and June, 1887, thirty-nine stories appeared. In 1888, the volume Soldiers Three was published. It contained many of the best stories of three “typical” British privates whose farcical adventures in a picaresque milieu gave Kipling a...
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Biography (Dictionary of World Biography: The 19th Century)
The passage of time has not been particularly kind to Rudyard Kipling. His strong political opinions earned for him the enmity of many people in Great Britain, the United States, Canada, and India during his lifetime, and while such eminent critics as Edmund Wilson and George Orwell paid him the compliment of taking him seriously, their attacks on his ideas and his art have contributed to a general attitude that Kipling is either a historical curiosity, a local colorist, a Tory bully, or, at best, the writer of cliché-ridden, jangling verse and a few charming children’s books. Ezra Pound’s caustic assessment, beginning “Rudyard the dudyard/ Rudyard the false measure . . .,” suggests how simple it is to dismiss Kipling in the style of his own poetry, how close he is to parody even at his best.
Yet Pound, probably because he detested Kipling’s politics, missed one of Kipling’s greatest strengths, something that Pound himself (in The ABC of Reading, 1934) prescribes as an essential component of poetry: the sheer, unforgettable rhythmic musicality of Kipling’s best work. There is a primal power of language in poems such as “Gunga Din” and “Mandalay” which has pressed them into the memory of at least three generations in the United States and the British Commonwealth, where they can be easily recalled and recited with evident sensual delight. Kipling instinctively sensed the energy of the popular song and knew how to seize and...
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Biography (Magill's Survey of World Literature, Revised Edition)
Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay, India, on December 30, 1865. His father, John Kipling, was a middle-class craftsman and designer who had received a post at a school of art in Bombay, probably with the help of his wife’s brother-in-law, the Pre-Raphaelite painter Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones. Kipling’s mother’s name was Alice Macdonald. By all reports, the young Kipling was spoiled by his parents and their Indian servants. When he was five years old, however, his parents began to fear that he was growing more Indian than English, so they brought him and his younger sister back to England, where they were boarded with a Captain Holloway and his wife, who were strangers to the Kiplings.
According to Kipling’s own account, in his autobiography as well as in fictional accounts in his works, he was not happy during this period, particularly after the death of Captain Holloway. For whatever reason, Mrs. Holloway did not like him and frequently punished him for what she saw as his headstrong and spoiled behavior. Because of her Calvinist threats of hellfire and damnation, Kipling called the house in the little seaside town the House of Desolation. His life was made even more miserable by his worsening eyesight, which caused his schoolwork to suffer.
In 1878, his mother returned to England to spend some time with her children, but once...
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Biography (Cyclopedia of World Authors, Fourth Revised Edition)
Joseph Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay on December 30, 1865. Born far from what he once termed “the provincialism of London,” he became a major voice for a multicultural empire—or, in later years, an Anglo-French federation of homelands and former colonies. Sometimes he sought to win followers for these visions by compromising with the ethnocentrism of his age, as in his notorious poem “The White Man’s Burden.”
Kipling was the first child of John Lockwood Kipling, architectural sculptor at the Bombay School of Arts, and Alice Macdonald Kipling. Both parents were children of Methodist ministers and contributed to the biblical accent in many of Kipling’s works. Like many other Anglo-Indian children, Kipling was sent to England for his education. As depicted in his story “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep,” the contrast between his permissive Indian servants in Bombay and the first hellfire-threatening Britons with whom the six-year-old Rudyard was left was traumatic, especially because his eyesight then began to fail. Highly myopic thereafter, Kipling could take little part in athletics; instead he spent his spare time writing for and editing the school paper at the United Services College at Westward Ho!, North Devon, the school that is portrayed in Stalky and Co.
His school journalism led to professional journalism when...
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Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay, India, on December 30, 1865. His father, John Lockwood Kipling, had gone to India to teach at the Bombay School of Fine Arts and later became curator of the Lahore Museum. His mother, Alice Macdonald, was one of five sisters in a prominent British family.
When he was six, Kipling and his sister were taken to England to attend school. There the two children spent five unhappy years living in a foster home. In 1878 Kipling went off to boarding school at the United Services College, an inexpensive and inferior school for children of the military and civil service. He was later to recount his school experiences in his novel Stalky & Co.
Young Kipling returned to India in 1882 and began a career as a journalist, working for the Indian newspaper of Lahore, Civil and Military Gazette. Over the next seven years Kipling devoted his energies to writing poetry and short stories, as well as journalism. His reputation as a writer grew quickly following the publication of collections of poems, Departmental Ditties and Other Verses (1886), and stories, Plain Tales from the Hills.
In 1889 he left India on a trip that took him through Asia and the Pacific, across the United States, and finally to London, where he quickly became part of the city's literary scene. The novel The Light that Failed (1891) and the poems in Barrack Room Ballads (1892) made him famous...
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The son of English parents, Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay, India, on December 30, 1865. He and his sister Alice (‘‘Trix’’) were sent to England for their schooling at an early age, residing with a foster family at Lorne Lodge, a place later immortalized by Kipling in the House of Desolation. Kipling’s separation from his parents might account for his later interest in children’s stories. He attended the United Services College (boarding school) until 1882. He returned to India in 1882 and began to write stories for two newspapers, the Civil and Military Gazette and the Pioneer. His initial success inspired him to return to England and launch a literary career.
In London, Kipling met Wolcott Balestier, a literary agent from America, and eventually married Balestier’s sister Caroline (who was given away at the wedding by the author Henry James). Her estate in Vermont served as the couple’s first home and as the site where Kipling wrote the two Jungle Books and the critically acclaimed Kim (which was finished in 1901). The couple returned to England in 1896 and settled in Sussex. Kipling visited South Africa several times during the Boer War (1899–1902). It was during these trips that Kipling became acquainted both with South African culture and nautical life, important features of ‘‘Mrs. Bathurst,’’ which was published in 1904.
On the basis of his successful career as a novelist...
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Poet, novelist, and short story writer Rudyard Kipling the first English writer to receive the Nobel Prize in literature, was the most popular literary figure of his time. He was born December 30, 1865, in Bombay India to John Lockwood Kipling and Alice MacDonald Kipling. John Lockwood Kipling, who was an anthropologist and curator, inspired the character of the Keeper of the Wonderhouse in Kim.
Kipling spent his early childhood in India and was cared for by a Hindu nanny; as a young child he spoke Hindi. However, as was the custom of the time, at the age of six Kipling was sent to boarding school in Britain where he unfortunately was subjected to severe strictness and bullying. His poor eyesight kept him from advancing into a military career, so at the age of sixteen Kipling returned to his parents in Lahore, India, and began his career as a journalist, first at the Civil and Military Gazette (1882–1887) and then as a worldwide correspondent for the Pioneer (1887–1889). He became quite popular for his work, especially for his satirical and humorous verse. When he returned to England in 1889 at the age of twenty-four, he was already regarded as a national literary hero.
In 1892, Kipling married the American Caroline Balestier and moved to Vermont. Their two daughters, Josephine—who was to die at the age of six of pneumonia—and Elsie, were born here. The Kiplings returned to England in 1896; their only son, John, was born later that year. The Kiplings remained based in England and traveled regularly around the world.
Although Kipling did not live for a long period of time in India after his childhood and his early adult years, his love of India and interest in the subcontinent and his memories of the India of his childhood figured greatly in his writing. Kipling is best known for his works about India, most notably Kim, a novel that covers all corners of the continent and in which Kipling lavishly describes the many different cultures and native peoples of the empire. Published in 1901, Kim is widely regarded as his most mature and polished work.
Kipling was a prolific writer, and his skill at storytelling, his immensely readable and songlike verse, his refusal to mince words, and the strong sense of British patriotism that characterized his work made him immensely popular with the common readership. However, his receipt of the Nobel Prize in 1907 was met with disapproval from other literary critics and writers, who considered him vulgar and lacking in craftsmanship.
The death of his son, John, during World War I combined with failing health, affected Kipling’s writing deeply. His output decreased dramatically after this period. He died on January 18, 1936, and is buried at Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey.
Among Kipling’s other most well-known works are Captains Courageous (1897), The First and Second Jungle Books, and the poems “If,” “White Man’s Burden,” and “Recessional.”
Biography (Short Stories for Students)
Joseph Rudyard Kipling, a turn of the nineteenth- century author, was one of Britain’s most distinguished writers of novels and short stories. A prolific writer, Kipling achieved recognition quickly, and his works left an impressive mark on the literary world of short fiction and children’s literature.
Kipling was born December 30, 1865 in Bombay, India, the first child of John Lockwood Kipling and his wife Alice. Except for a short trip to England in 1868 for the birth of his sister, Kipling lived in India most of his first five years. Kipling’s sister appeared to be stillborn, with a black eye and a broken arm, but was revived by the doctor. This event earned her the nickname Trixie, for her father’s description of her as a “tricksy baby.”
During the latter half of his stay in India, Rudyard was considered a tiny despot. He was a rowdy, vocal, and slightly unruly child. He spoke to the servants in their native tongue, loved his ayah (Indian maid or nurse), and was sincerely happy surrounded by India’s exotic riches. However, the pleasure he found in India was short-lived, as his parents sought to save their children from the fever-ridden climate and wanted them to acquire English educations. Thus, in 1871, Rudyard and Trixie were sent to be educated at a foster home in Southsea, Hampshire. Rudyard was incredibly forlorn and the experiences of these early years undeniably shaped his writings.
In 1878, Kipling...
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IntroductionIf you are familiar with Baloo (the bear) and Mowgli (the young boy) from the movie Jungle Book, then you are already partly aware of Rudyard Kipling, who created the original characters. The movie was adapted from Kipling’s most successful book, and like much of Kipling’s famous work, it focuses on children and animal characters. The Jungle Book, a story that takes place in a tropical forest, was authored while Kipling’s writing room was almost buried in snow in Vermont. The author claims that he thought about Mowgli that cold winter and then sat back and watched his pen write the lost boy’s story. The book proved so successful, the author spent almost as much time reading letters sent to him from children as he did writing.
- In 1907, Kipling received a Nobel Prize for literature, the first English-language author to win the prestigious award.
- Kipling was named after Rudyard Lake in Britain, the place where his parents first met.
- When he was six, Kipling was sent from India, where his parents lived, back to England. He stayed with a very strict family whom Kipling later described as causing him such great terror that it led him to write.
- Kipling’s first book, Stalky and Co., relates juvenile tales of revenge, dead cats, bullying, and initial explorations into the topic of sex.
- Kipling might have lived in Vermont for the rest of his life were it not for his brother-in-law, who made a huge public display of threatening to physically abuse Kipling. This sent Kipling and his family back home to Britain.
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Captains Courageous Summary - Rudyard Kipling
Danny Deever Summary - Rudyard Kipling
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Lispeth Summary - Rudyard Kipling
Recessional Summary - Rudyard Kipling
The Brushwood Boy Summary - Rudyard Kipling
The Gardener Summary - Rudyard Kipling
The Hyenas Summary - Rudyard Kipling
The Man Who Would Be King Summary - Rudyard Kipling
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Kim Review - Rudyard Kipling
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