Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling was born in India, in Bombay, on December 30, 1865. His parents were English. His father was professor of architectural sculpture, curator of the Lahore museum, a painter, and an illustrator.
Rudyard spent his early childhood in Lahore. The Indian servants adored him. From them he learned the picturesque tales and songs of Indian folklore. Hindi was the first language he spoke. Kipling loved India and its inhabitants. His respect for the country and for the peoples of Asia remained with him throughout his life and coloured much of his writing. But still he never forgot that he was a white man and an Englishman.
At the age of six Kipling was taken to England and educated at an English College in North Devon. As far as his studies were concerned, he was not brilliant in mathematics but in history he ranked well. When he went back to India in 1883, he took with him the gold medal of the college for a prize essay on history. All his life Kipling was admired by the people he came in touch with. He was respected for his generosity, his sense of humour and his pleasant ways. He was said to be extremely modest. Having returned to India, Kipling turned to journalism. At seventeen he became sub-editor of the Lahore "Civil and Military Gazette". At the age of twenty-one he published his first book of verse. A year later he attracted public attention by his "Plain Tales from the Hills". Before he was twenty-four he had brought out six small collections of stories which showed his mastery in the form. These stories were remarkable for their vigour, brilliant colour, accurate observation and inventiveness.
Kipling's talent was quickly recognized in India, but it was in England that his talent was really appreciated. Between 1887 and 1899 Kipling travelled around the world. He visited China, Japan and lived for a few years in America, where he married an American, Caroline Starr Balestier. During this period Kipling wrote several of his most popular works, which took the reading public by storm. These were his stories for children, which became classics, "The Jungle Books" (1894 - 1895), "Captains Courageous"(1897) and "Just So Stories" (1902). He appealed equally to youth and age with "Kim" (1901), "Puck of Pook's Hill"(1906) and "Rewards and Fairies"(1910). These works are fine examples of the modern treatment of history, and his history was always human of the common people. In the meantime Kipling's genius had become prominent in verse. He wrote a series of poems which he called "Barrack Room Ballads" (1898), "The Ballad of East and West" and others poems. During the South African war (1899-1902) Kipling supported the policy of British expansion. Kipling's work as a whole is that of a man who was aware of the real world he lived in. At the end of life Kipling came to hate war, and it is evident in such works as "Mary Postgate" (1915) and "The Gardener" (1926).
Kipling returned from America and began to live in a little Sussex village He had lost a daughter, the death of his son during World War I embittered and almost silenced him. One of his best poems - "If” - was dedicated to his son.
Kipling died on January 17, 1936. A year after his death a collection of his autobiographical notes "Something of Myself” was published.
Rudyard Kipling achieved great popularity both among children and grown-ups, among ordinary
readers and prominent writers. He was a talented story-teller deeply concerned with the burning problems of his time. In 1907 he received the Nobel Prize for literature, he was the first writer and the first English man to whom this prize was awarded The charm of his stories lies in the exciting plots, the variety of characters the vigour of narration.

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