Format Hardcover
Publication Date 03/08/09
ISBN 9781605980317
Trim Size / Pages 9.3 x 6.3 in / 448

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Kipling Sahib

India and the Making of Rudyard Kipling

Charles Allen

The first biography of Kipling's younger years: his Indian childhood, abandonment in England, and coming of age as a writer.

Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay in 1865 and spent his early years there, before being sent to England at the age of six, where he was desperately unhappy. Charles Allen's great-grandfather brought the sixteen-year-old Kipling back to India to work on The Civil and Military Gazette, and thus began young Rudyard's literary career.

He arrived in Bombay on October 18, 1882—"a prince entering his kingdom"—and for the next seven years, his writing established him as a popular and critical, though sometimes controversial, success. Allen has written a brilliant account of these formative years—as a child in India, his unhappy years in England, and his coming of age back "home" in Bombay. In this tale of family and Empire, Allen traces the Indian experiences of Kipling's parents, Lockwood and Alice, and reveals what kind of culture the young writer was born into and how it would shape his life and writing over the next twenty years.

Charles Allen is the author of a number of critically acclaimed books, including Soldier Sahibs, God's Terrorists, and Plain Tales from the Raj. He lives in England.

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Endorsements & Reviews

“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)”
“[A] brilliantly insightful biographical study.... [Allen] is equally sound on all important aspects of Kipling. (Los Angeles Times, Martin Rubin)”