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Biography of Rudyard Kipling

Photo of Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling was a nineteenth/twentieth century author and poet most famous for “The Jungle Book”

When and Where was he Born?

30th December 1865, Bombay, India.

Family Background:

Rudyard Kipling was the son of John Lockwood Kipling an artist and scholar and Curator of the Lahore Museum in India. Nephew of the wife of Sir Edward Burne-Jones and the Mother of Stanley Baldwin, Prime Minister.

Education:

United Services College, Westward Ho! Devon.

Timeline of Rudyard Kipling:

1882: After being sent to England to receive his education Kipling returns to India and takes a job as a journalist on the “Civil and Military Gazette” newspaper in Lahore.

1886: “Departmental Ditties” is published in his newspaper. He also begins to write for the Gazette’s sister paper the “Pioneer” in Allahabad.

1889: Rudyard Kipling returns to England hoping to repeat the literary success that he has achieved already in India.

1890: His first novel “Light that Failed” is not well received.

1892: “Barrack Room Ballads” did achieve success. He marries Carrie (Caroline) Balestier the sister of his American friend and writer Wolcott Balestier. They set out on a world trip on their honeymoon and then return to her home town of Brattleboro in Vermont with the intention of settling there.

1894: “The Jungle Book”, written in America, establishes his fame in England, but still many English people find his poetry distasteful as it smacked of jingoism.

1896: After quarreling with Carrie’s brother the Kiplings come back to settle in England.

1897: Kipling moves to the Grange in Rottingdean in Sussex.

1899: Death of his daughter Josephine on a visit to the United States.

1901: Publication of his best selling novel “Kim”.

1902: The Kipling’s buy a house called Bateman’s at Burwash, Sussex, which was to be his home until his death.

1906: Publication of “Puck of Pook’s Hill”.

1907: Kipling is awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

1914: The War Propaganda Bureau arranges for Kipling to make a visit to Britain’s army camps to increase morale.

1915: The Kiplings, who had tried to warn the nation to be prepared for the First World War lose their son John fighting with the Irish Guards in the Battle of Loos in France at the age of eighteen. Kipling visits the Western Front himself and writes about his experiences in “France at War.” He is also commissioned to write a pamphlet on the Royal Navy called “The Fringes of the Fleet”.

1920’s/30’s: Much of his later writings have been described as proto-modernist and his popularity falls further out of favour with English readers in general.

When and Where did he Die?

18th January 1936, London, England from a haemorrhage in his small intestine.

Age at Death:

70.

Written Works:

1886: “Departmental Ditties”.
1887: “Plain Tales from the Hills”. “Soldiers Three”.
1889: “From Sea to Sea”.
1890: “The Light That Failed”.
1891: “Life’s Handicap”.
1892: “Barrack Room Ballads”. “Naulakha” (published with Wolcott Balestier)
1893: “Many Inventions”.
1894: “The Jungle Book”.
1895: “The Second Jungle Book”.
1896: “The Seven Seas”.
1897: “Captains Courageous”.
1898: “The Day’s Work”.
1901: “Kim”.
1902: “Just So Stories”.
1903: “The Five Nations”.
1905: “They”.
1906: “Puck of Pook’s Hill”.
1907: “The Brushwood Boy”.
1909: “Actions and Reactions”.
1917: “A Diversity of Creatures”. “The Years Between”.
(1937): “Something of Myself”. (Autobiography)

Marriage:

1892 to Carrie (Caroline) Balestier the sister of his American friend and writer Wolcott Balestier.

Site of Grave:

Poet’s Corner, Westminster Abbey, London, England.

Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey, London
(copyright Anthony Blagg)

Places of Interest:

SUSSEX:

Museum of the Rottingdean Preservation Society, The Grange, Rottingdean.
Bateman’s, Burwash.

YORKSHIRE:

The Green Howards Museum, Richmond.

Further Information:

Kipling Society, JW Michael Smith, Tre Cottage, 2 Brownleoh Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN7 6LB.

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