Rudyard Kipling

Author of The Jungle Book and Just So Stories

Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936) was born in Bombay, but educated in England. In 1882 he returned to India, where he started work as a journalist and, while there, produced a body of work, stories, sketches and poems – notably Plain Tales from the Hills (1888), which made him an instant literary celebrity when he returned to England in 1889. In 1892 he married an American, Caroline Balestier, and from 1892 to 1896 they lived in Vermont, where Kipling wrote The Jungle Book, published in 1894, which became a children’s classic all over the world. Tales of every kind – including historical and science fiction – continued to flow from his pen. In 1901 came Kim and in 1902 the Just So Stories. Other works include Captains Courageous (1897) and Puck of Pook’s Hill (1906). From 1902 Kipling made his home in Sussex, but he continued to travel widely and caught his first glimpse of warfare in South Africa, where he wrote some reportage on the Boer War. Kipling was the recipient of many honorary degrees and other awards. He was the first English writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize, in 1907, and in 1926 he received the Gold Medal of the Royal Society of Literature.

Illustration by Robert Ingpen