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Kipling, Rudyard

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Kipling, Rudyard, 1865–1936, English author, b. Bombay (now Mumbai), India. Educated in England, Kipling returned to India in 1882 and worked as an editor on a Lahore paper. His early poems were collected in Departmental Ditties (1886), Barrack-Room Ballads (1892), and other volumes. His first short stories of Anglo-Indian life appeared in Plain Tales from the Hills (1888) and Soldiers Three (1888). In 1889 he returned to London, where his novel The Light That Failed (1890) appeared. Kipling's masterful stories and poems interpreted India in all its heat, strife, and ennui. His romantic imperialism and his characterization of the true Englishman as brave, conscientious, and self-reliant did much to enhance his popularity. These views are reflected in such well-known poems as "The White Man's Burden," "Loot," "Mandalay," "Gunga Din," and Recessional (1897).

In London in 1892, he married Caroline Balestier, an American, and lived in Vermont for four years. There he wrote children's stories, The Jungle Book (1894) and Second Jungle Book (1895), Kim (1901), Just So Stories (1902), and Captains Courageous (1897). Returning to England in 1900, he lived in Sussex, the setting of Puck of Pook's Hill (1906). Other works include Stalky and Co. (1899) and his famous poem "If" (1910). England's first Nobel Prize winner in literature (1907), he is buried in Westminster Abbey.


See his Something of Myself (1937); biographies by J. I. M. Stewart (1966), J. Harrison (1982), H. Ricketts (2000), and D. Gilmour (2002); studies by J. M. S. Tompkins (2d ed. 1965), V. A. Shashane (1973), R. F. Moss (1982), P. Mallett, ed. (1989), and W. B. Dillingham (2008).

Kipling, (Joseph) Rudyard

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Rudyard Kipling.
(credit: Elliott and Fry)
(born Dec. 30, 1865, Bombay, India—died Jan. 18, 1936, London, Eng.) Indian-born British novelist, short-story writer, and poet. The son of a museum curator, he was reared in England but returned to India as a journalist. He soon became famous for volumes of stories, beginning with Plain Tales from the Hills (1888; including “The Man Who Would Be King”), and later for the poetry collection Barrack-Room Ballads (1892; including “Gunga Din” and “Mandalay”). His poems, often strongly rhythmic, are frequently narrative ballads. During a residence in the U.S., he published a novel, The Light That Failed (1890); the two Jungle Books (1894, 1895), stories of the wild boy Mowgli in the Indian jungle that have become children's classics; the adventure story Captains Courageous (1897); and Kim (1901), one of the great novels of India. He wrote six other volumes of short stories and several other verse collections. His children's books include the famous Just So Stories (1902) and the fairy-tale collection Puck of Pook's Hill (1906). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907. His extraordinary popularity in his own time declined as his reputation suffered after World War I because of his widespread image as a jingoistic imperialist.

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