About Rudyard Kipling
The British author and poet, Rudyard Kipling, was born in Bombay, India,
to British parents. His father was both an artist and a scholar and was
for many years the curator of the Lahore Museum there. The description
of the Keeper of the Wonder House in the opening chapter of Kim is a
description of and a tribute to his father.
Sent to boarding schools in England when he was a young boy, Kipling
shy and nearsighted was desperately unhappy. But in later
years several of his most famous narratives and stories are based upon
those youthful experiences.
In 1882, Kipling returned to India, where he worked as a journalist,
polishing his writing skills. During that time he published "Departmental
Ditties" (1886) and "Plain Tales from the Hills" (1887) and several
volumes of short stories based on his observations of the rich pageant of
life in India. By the time he returned to England in 1889, and published
"Barrack-Room Ballads" (1892) he was famous.
Kipling married an American and lived for a short time in Vermont before
returning to England permanently. He also spent time in South Africa. In
1907, he won the Nobel prize for Literature, and he twice declined the
Order of Merit, the highest honor that can be conferred on a British
Despite the honors and fame that were given him during his life, the
intensity of Kipling's fame faded during the 20th century. He is best
remembered now for his splendid children's books: "The Jungle Books,"
"The Just-So Stories," and "Kim," although the latter is really an
adult book. For adults, many of his short stories and his magnificent
"Indian Tales," still make thrilling reading, and some of his poems,
such as "Recessional," are also widely read and enjoyed.