Once hailed as the uncrowned laureate of the British Empire, Rudyard Kipling excelled in many literary modes, including poetry, journalism, short stories, novels, children’s books, public speaking, travel writing, science fiction and autobiography. His themes were wide and varied, including wry glances at imperial India, the glories of rural Sussex, the stories of English history, the British ’Tommy’, the strength of comradeship, and, after the first world war, the pain of bereavement and the effects of post-traumatic stress.
Classic: Kim – A street-wise orphan crosses 19th century India as the disciple of a Buddhist lama whilst also assisting the British in the ‘Great Game’. Buy Kim
Try this first: For adults, Stories and Poems – A broad spectrum of Kipling’s works curated and introduced by Danny Karlin, or, for children, The Jungle Book Buy Stories and Poems Buy The Jungle Book
Best biographies/critical analyses: The Unforgiving Minute by Harry Ricketts, or, for authoritative completeness, Rudyard Kipling by Andrew Lycett. Buy The Unforgiving Minute Buy Rudyard Kipling
To find out more and to join the Kipling Society go to https://www.kiplingsociety.co.uk or visit his house at https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/batemans
The ALS supports local, independent bookshops and encourages you to buy from them. For those who prefer to shop online we include the Society chosen links above.