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Kipling Sahib: India and the Making of Rudyard Kipling Paperback – May 5, 2010


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Kipling Sahib: India and the Making of Rudyard Kipling + Rudyard Kipling: A Life + The Long Recessional: The Imperial Life of Rudyard Kipling
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Pegasus (May 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605980900
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605980904
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.3 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,434,305 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Charles Allen prefers to focus exclusively on the glory years preceding Kipling's final return to England in 1900, at age 35, and on the vital Indian experience that provided the raw material for so many of his best-loved works, including the Jungle Book short-story collections and the novel Kim. The book offers a vivid and fully rounded picture of the emotional and physical context of Kipling's apprenticeship as a writer. engaging and colorful.” (Wall Street Journal)

Review

Formidable....A fascinating new book. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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How he matured so young!
Geoff Bond
The introduction is personal and yet objective enough to allow the reader to form his or her opinion without a pre- condeived prejudice.
felicity johnson
And oh, yes, an up-to-the-minute Select Bibliography as well.
T. Patrick Killough

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Geoff Bond on November 12, 2008
A fascinating insight to Kipling's background. I had no idea he was such a precocious, bumptious and opinionated young man. How he matured so young! And of course that terrible time in the Southsea foster home. He was also quite a lad, seemingly with all kinds of dalliances, especially in Simla. It all goes to explain how he could write a poem like "The Ladies".

Incredible how he developed such a deep understanding of the East. Breaking convention and wandering the streets of the native cities by night and making all kinds of unconventional acquaintances and soaking up novel experiences. That was the local color so wonderfully exemplified by his novel Kim Kim (Penguin Classics), and his Ballad of East and West.

Kipling also did something that no Sahib had done before: talk to the ordinary Tommy in the barracks and absorb all the terrible privations they suffered. That is how he could write a short story like "The Drums of the Fore and the Aft" in The Man who would be King The Man Who Would Be King and Other Stories (Oxford World's Classics) and searing poems like Danny Deever Collected Verse Of Rudyard Kipling.

Charles Allen only sounds one false note when, seemingly as a a sop to the politically correct, he is unnecessarily apologetic about Kipling and his time. Quite uncalled for! Kipling's works display a wonderful understanding and sympathy for humanity in general. How lucky we are to have his works as an insightful record of the British Raj.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By T. Patrick Killough on April 14, 2011
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Charles Allen's 2009 KIPLING SAHIB: INDIA AND THE MAKING OF RUDYARD KIPLING is so uniquely good that it needs no commending by me. Every trapping you want in a great biography is there: maps of the subject's movements in India, a packed Index, End Notes to the horizon, contemporary photos and drawings and the best little "Glossary of Indian and Anglo-Words" since the legendary but oceanically longer Hobson-Jobson: The Anglo-Indian Dictionary (Wordsworth Reference). And oh, yes, an up-to-the-minute Select Bibliography as well.

The author puts 90 % of his emphasis on Kipling's India and India-related experiences (including Rudyard's and his younger sister Trix's miserable years stranded in an English boarding house while parents went back to India without them -- an abandonment the reason for which Charles Allen makes the first plausible explanation of I have ever read). Rudyard (Ruddy, Rud) Kipling spent only 13 years on the ground in India but those years made him. He was born in Bombay in 1865, became bi-lingual in the hands of a Goanese ayah and a Hindu bearer, and showed more observer than one great promise as a major writer during his newspapering years in Lahore and Allahabad.

In the view of Allen, Rudyard was essentially written out at age 35 in 1900 - 1901 with publication of KIM and JUST SO STORIES. This is a brilliantly conceived foreshortened biography, admirably and convincingly presented. Perhaps after six or seven equally good specially focused similar biographies (e.g. the South Africa years, the Vermont years, World War One), we may say, "At last, we now have about all of the 1907 Nobel Prize winner that we are likely to get.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Harrington on February 15, 2013
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To see how Kipling came to be the author of books, short stories, and poems about India, this is the book to read. It drags for awhile, as it goes into background details about Kipling's father, Lockwood, and some of the other personages that affected Kipling in some way, but this background goes a long way toward explaining how Rudyard Kipling developed over the years.
It wasn't just that Kipling was born in Bombay, hence was automatically qualified to write about India. Much more than that----his insights developed over time. His basic will to understand India and its people is very important.
How did Kipling come to be the writer that he was? This book delves into that question in quite some detail. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By felicity johnson on September 21, 2011
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I beleive that this book is one of Allen's best. The introduction is personal and yet objective enough to allow the reader to form his or her opinion without a pre- condeived prejudice. The detailed narrative moves along briskley. I think thats what I enjoyed the most was the detail. A good read, especially if you enjoy Kipling's work.
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