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Edward Pearce, 22 October 1992

by Anne Chisholm and Michael Davie.
Hutchinson, 589 pp., £20, October 1992, 0 09 173549 1
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... with Bonar Law, the key Tory backbencher Edward Goulding, and the Imperial moralist/moraliser Rudyard Kipling, as well as sundry millions of pounds. The money had come fast, very fast from Halifax, St John and Montreal. Starting in a financier’s equivalent of a garret, a hotel bedroom, he began his ten-year capital accumulation as an insurance ...

Fit only to be a greengrocer

E.S. Turner, 23 September 1993

Rider Haggard and the Lost Empire 
by Tom Pocock.
Weidenfeld, 264 pp., £20, August 1993, 0 297 81308 0
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... to confer just government on those peoples, swarthier perhaps, who stood in need of it; the man Rudyard Kipling was to consult on whether the much-criticised ‘Recessional’ had struck the right note; the man above all haunted by the thought of the Queen’s vast empty realms and the reluctance of his fellow men, proud as they were of their ...


Harry Ricketts, 16 March 1989

Rudyard Kipling 
by Martin Seymour-Smith.
Macdonald, 373 pp., £16.95, February 1989, 0 356 15852 7
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... plausible. The same can hardly be said of Martin Seymour-Smith in his new critical biography of Kipling. In addition to being one of the most lopsided lives ever written – 23 chapters on the first forty years, only two chapters on the last thirty – this is also one of the most incorrigible in its guesswork. Indeed, Seymour-Smith’s claim to have been ...

Walking among ghosts

Paul Fussell, 18 September 1980

The Private Diaries of Sir H. Rider Haggard, 1914-1925 
edited by D.S. Higgins.
Cassell, 299 pp., £14.95, May 1980, 0 304 30611 8
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... living in the world,’ he writes, ‘with whom I am in supreme sympathy, Theodore Roosevelt and Rudyard Kipling.’ All this might seem pretty damning and stupid, but there’s another element in Haggard’s response to the war which complicates things. That is his capacity to be worn down by the grinding tragedy of it all. His nephews were killed. His ...

Honest Graft

Michael Brock, 23 June 1988

Corruption in British Politics, 1895-1930 
by G.R. Searle.
Oxford, 448 pp., £19.50, November 1987, 0 19 822915 1
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... their purveyors’ states of mind rather than any political realities. In 1917, for instance, Rudyard Kipling was told by ‘a man in the train’ that Churchill had been brought into the Government because he was ‘able to blackmail the Prime Minister’. Kipling duly retailed this. It would have taken more than ...

So long as you drub the foe

Geoffrey Best: Army-Society Relations, 11 May 2006

Military Identities: The Regimental System, The British Army and The British People c.1870-2000 
by David French.
Oxford, 404 pp., £45, July 2005, 0 19 925803 1
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... him out, the brute!’, But it’s ‘Saviour of ’is country’ when the guns begin to shoot. Rudyard Kipling wrote ‘Tommy’ in order to call attention to a couple of questions that were not new then and are with us still: what sort of an army do we need, and how do we regard and use the one we’ve got? To these questions, there are two ...

Disgrace Abounding

E.S. Turner, 7 January 1988

A Class Society at War: England 1914-18 
by Bernard Waites.
Berg, 303 pp., £25, November 1987, 0 907582 65 6
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Working for Victory? Images of Women in the First World War 
by Diana Condell and Jean Liddiard.
Routledge, 201 pp., £19.95, November 1987, 0 7102 0974 6
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The Countryside at War 1914-18 
by Caroline Dakers.
Constable, 238 pp., £12.95, November 1987, 0 09 468060 4
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When Jim Crow met John Bull: Black American Soldiers in World War Two Britain 
by Graham Smith.
Tauris, 265 pp., £14.95, November 1987, 9781850430391
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... and male foreman’. One girl was pursued by another into the hall, where the master of the house, Rudyard Kipling, ‘found her looking like Britannia on her pitchfork and howling “Ther dirty woman!” ’ This book has no axe to grind. It draws discriminately on published memoirs and aristocratic archives to build up a sympathetic, often poignant ...


J.I.M. Stewart, 5 June 1986

The Unknown Conan Doyle: Letters to the Press 
by John Michael Gibson and Richard Lancelyn Green.
Secker, 377 pp., £15, March 1986, 0 436 13303 2
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... Early in his career, then, Doyle is already well on that road to En-Dor which his contemporary, Rudyard Kipling, refused to take. But, equally early, he is aware of a perplexing incongruity between the trifling and frequently grotesque deliverances of mediumship and the tremendous issue of the possible survival of human personality after bodily ...

Alternative Tories

José Harris, 23 April 1987

by Roy Jenkins.
Collins, 204 pp., £12.95, March 1987, 9780002175869
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Rab: The Life of R.A. Butler 
by Anthony Howard.
Cape, 422 pp., £15, March 1987, 0 224 01862 0
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The Political Culture of Modern Britain: Studies in Memory of Stephen Koss 
edited by J.M.W. Bean.
Hamish Hamilton, 306 pp., £15, January 1987, 0 241 12026 8
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... in conjuring up a vision of national identity strikingly similar to that portrayed by his cousin Rudyard Kipling in Rewards and Fairies and Puck of Pook’s Hill. It was a vision rooted in personal rather than collective virtue, in intuition rather than reason, in rural patriarchalism rather than industrial efficiency, and in an intense emotional ...

I am a classical scholar, and you are not

Peter Clarke: Enoch Powell, 7 March 2013

Enoch at 100: A Re-evaluation of the Life, Politics and Philosophy of Enoch Powell 
edited by Lord Howard of Rising.
Biteback, 320 pp., £25, June 2012, 978 1 84954 310 1
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... with the 1960s: more the mode that, forty years previously, Stanley Baldwin (or his cousin Rudyard Kipling) had sometimes tried out. Powell continues: ‘They would tell us of that marvellous land, so sweetly mixed of opposites in climate that all the seasons of the year appear there in their greatest perfection,’ and so on. This reads like John ...

Bolsheviks and Bohemians

Angus Calder, 5 April 1984

The Life of Arthur Ransome 
by Hugh Brogan.
Cape, 456 pp., £10.95, January 1984, 0 224 02010 2
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Bohemia in London 
by Arthur Ransome, introduced by Rupert Hart-Davis.
Oxford, 284 pp., £3.50, January 1984, 0 19 281412 5
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... whether conflict with her could be avoided: meanwhile, the British Empire seemed at its zenith and Kipling and Newbolt were the most flourishing poets of the day. After ‘much falling’, Lionel Johnson had made his legendary descent to death from a bar stool, and Yeats’s other companions were no longer to be found in the Cheshire Cheese. The ...

‘We would rather eat our cake than merely have it’

Rosemary Hill: Victorian men and women, 4 October 2001

A Circle of Sisters: Georgiana Burne-Jones, Agnes Poynter and Louisa Baldwin 
by Judith Flanders.
Penguin, 392 pp., £17.99, September 2001, 0 670 88673 4
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The Hated Wife: Carrie Kipling 1862-1939 
by Adam Nicolson.
Short Books, 96 pp., £4.99, May 2001, 0 571 20835 5
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Victorian Diaries: The Daily Lives of Victorian Men and Women 
edited by Heather Creaton.
Mitchell Beazley, 144 pp., £14.99, February 2001, 1 84000 359 6
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... Frank Doubleday, the American publisher and friend of Rudyard and Carrie Kipling, once arrived at their house in Sussex to find Rudyard in a sweat in front of the hall fireplace shovelling a pile of his manuscripts into the flames. It was a horrifying sight, especially to a publisher ...

One’s Rather Obvious Duty

Paul Smith, 1 June 2000

Stanley Baldwin: Conservative Leadership and National Values 
by Philip Williamson.
Cambridge, 378 pp., £25, September 1999, 0 521 43227 8
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... who wrote poetry, novels and children’s stories, was a sister-in-law of Burne-Jones and aunt of Rudyard Kipling. From Burne-Jones and William Morris, a family friend, her husband commissioned work; from Kipling her son derived a touch of literary inspiration and even an occasional helping hand with his ...

Tsk, Ukh, Hmmm

Michael Newton: Forgetting to remember to forget, 23 February 2006

Echolalias: On the Forgetting of Language 
by Daniel Heller-Roazen.
Zone, 287 pp., £18.95, May 2005, 1 890951 49 8
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... In his autobiography, Something of Myself, Rudyard Kipling tells how he returned to Bombay from public school in England. He had been away for 11 years, but once again walking the streets of Bombay, the town of his birth, the teenage Kipling found himself uttering whole sentences in the native tongue – presumably Marathi, a language he had entirely forgotten ...


John Bayley, 29 September 1988

Something to hold onto: Autobiographical Sketches 
by Richard Cobb.
Murray, 168 pp., £12.95, September 1988, 0 7195 4587 0
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... wait his turn, he shouted furiously: ‘Do you know who I am?’ ‘Yes, I know who you are, Mr Rudyard bloody Kipling,’ returned the clerk, who had evidently been through this before, ‘and kindly wait your turn like the others.’ I fancy this story is well remembered, rather than strictly true – ...

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