A chronology of his life and work
|1865||30 December, Joseph Rudyard Kipling ("RK") born in Bombay, son of John Lockwood Kipling (Head of Department of Architectural Sculpture at the government School of Art) and of Alice Kipling, née Macdonald. Both of his grandfathers were Methodist ministers|
|1868||First visit to England; his sister Alice ("Trix") born there.|
|1871||RK and Trix again taken to England and left there for six years, boarding with Captain and Mrs Holloway at Lorne Lodge, Southsea; their parents returned to India. Captain Holloway died. Mrs Holloway disliked RK, who was also bullied by her son. RK became deeply unhappy. He later described occasional holidays spent in London with his mother's sister Georgiana Burne-Jones and her husband, the artist Edward Burne-Jones, as "a Paradise that I verily believe saved me.|
|1877||Alice Kipling arrived from India and took her son away from Southsea, though Trix remained there for a time. RK became a pupil at the United Services College, Westward Ho!, Devon, a cheap boarding school for the sons of army officers and civil servants, where conditions were spartan but the teaching good.|
|1880||Returning to Southsea to fetch his sister, RK met her fellow-boarder 'Flo' Garrard with whom he fell in love, and to whom he sent a number of poems while still at school. The relationship, more important to him than to Flo, would be broken off and resumed several times.|
|1881||RK made editor of the school magazine. A booklet of his poems, Schoolboy Lyrics privately printed in Lahore by his parents without his knowledge.|
|1882||Left school. Returned to India in October and travelled to join his parents in Lahore. Began work there as assistant editor on the Civil and Military Gazette, a local English language newspaper for the British in northern India.|
|1883||Verses published in The Englishman of Calcutta and in the Civil and Military Gazette.|
|1884||Echoes by two Writers, a series of parodies by RK and Trix|
|1885|| Quartette, a Christmas Annual by all four Kiplings. |
|1886|| RK spent a month at Simla as correspondent of The Pioneer, a larger paper also owned by the proprietors of the Civil and Military Gazette. Departmental Ditties, comic poems about
English in India, privately printed and immediately sold out. Second edition by Thacker, Spink & Co. of Calcutta.
|1887|| RK transferred to The Pioneer at Allahabad. Made friends with Professor Alec Hill and his American wife Edmonia, who would become an important influence. Sent to Rajputana as special correspondent, writing articles afterwards collected as Letters of Marque (1891) (republished in From Sea to Sea, Vol. 1).
|1888|| Went to board with the Hills at their house in Allahabad. Made editor of a weekly supplement The Week's News. Plain Tales from the Hills published by Thacker Spink. His Railway Library series of short stories published in six paperback volumes: Soldiers Three, The Story of the Gadsbys, In Black and White, Under the Deodars, The Phantom Rickshaw, Wee Willie Winkie. (all these later collected as Soldiers Three and other Stories and Wee Willie Winkie and other Stories).
|1889|| RK left India to become The Pioneer's roving correspondent. Travelled with the Hills to Burma, Singapore, Hong Kong and Canton, Japan, and San Francisco. Crossed America, visiting Mrs Hill it her family's home in Beaver Pennsylvania, where he met her sister Caroline Taylor, to whom he became informally engaged. Arrived in London in September and took rooms in Villiers St, off the Strand. Retained A.P. Watt as his literary agent.
|1890|| Became so famous that his work was the subject of an editorial in The Times, 25 March. All his earlier books published in English and American editions. Engagement to Caroline Taylor broken off. Met Flo Garrard in the street and tried unsuccessfully to resume the relationship. Had a nervous breakdown. Made a new friend, American writer and publisher Wolcott Balestier, and met his mother and sisters. Wrote novel The Light that Failed. The City of Dreadful Night, a collection of articles from The Pioneer published in Allahahad without his permission.
|1891|| Published Life's Handicap, short stories from his Indian years, with some new additions written free of any newspaper proprietor's supervision. Collaborated with Balestier in writing The Naulahka. Balestier also helped RK establish his copyrights in the United States, after many problems with unauthorised editions. RK had further breakdown from overwork. Set off on voyage to South Africa Australia, and New Zealand. Returned to India to spend Christmas with his family; but hearing of the death of Balestier from typhoid he rushed back to London.
18th January, RK married Balestier's sister Caroline. They left for a voyage round the world, stopping in in Brattleboro, Vermont, to visit her family, where her brother Beatty sold them plot of land for a nominal sum. They continued to Japan. RK's bank failed, leaving the couple with no assets but their travel tickets, which they exchanged for return fares to Brattleboro where the Balestiers found them a house. Daughter Josephine born in December. RK began writing for children. Published The Naulahka, written in collaboration with Wolcott Balestier, and Barrack-Room Ballads and other Verses.
Many Inventions, a collection of stories written before and after his marriage; including the last story narrated by the Irish soldier Mulvaney (until then his most popular character), and the first story about Mowgli, who would become the most important character in The Jungle Book. The Kiplings moved to "Naulakha", a house they had had built on the land purchased from Beatty Balestier.
The Jungle Book
The Second Jungle Book published.
Second daughter Elsie born. The Kiplings quarrelled with Beatty Balestier and it ended in court. They left Brattleboro and moved to Torquay, in England. Published The Seven Seas, a collection of poems that included the popular patriotic cycle, "A Song of the English".
Settled in Rottingdean, Sussex, near the Burne-Joneses and other connections. Their son John born. Published 'Captains Courageous', his novel on the New England fishing fleet. A
collected edition of RK's work, Scribner's Outward Bound edition, was published in the United States by subscription. The story collections were rearranged by topic, and some uncollected material included.
The first of many winter holidays in South Africa. RK travelled to Rhodesia. Friendship with Cecil Rhodes. Published short story collection The Day's Work (including "The Maltese Cat a story about polo ponies that would prove one of the most popular he ever wrote) Also published a series of articles on the navy, A Fleet in Being.
The family paid their last visit to America. All the children became ill; RK and Josephine developed pneumonia, from which Josephine died and RK almost did. On the outbreak of the Boer War RK became involved in a campaign for service charities, called (after a poem RK contributed) "The Absent-Minded Beggar Fund". During this year was published From Sea to Sea authorised version of travel articles and uncollected stories from The Pioneer, in two volumes, and Stalky & Co., a ground-breaking collection of school stories with a strong
RK visited South Africa, where he continued war work and writings, including two weeks in Bloemfontein on the newspaper The Friend, published by the British army. He was also working on long-running imaginative projects, Kim and The Just So Stories.
His novel Kim published, last (and thought by many to be the most important) of RK's Indian writings.
The house in Vermont finally sold. The Kiplings' final move, to Bateman's, Burwash, Sussex. Just So Stories for Little Children publishod, a collection of fables that (with The Jungle Book) have remained one of RK's most successful works.
The Five Nations, poems about the Boer war and its aftermath, published.
Traffics and Discoveries published, a collection of short stories that combines Boer war stories, naval stories, a farce about early motoring, and some of RK's most psychologically
interesting and controversial work. This includes "They", a study of a father who is mourning a dead child, and "Mrs Bathurst", seen by some readers as proto-Modernist, by others as intolerably mystifying.
Puck of Pook's Hill publishjed, an innovative series of historical stories and poems primarily intended for children, inspired by the history of RK's new home at Bateman's and of the surrounding countryside.
RK awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Visit to Canada.
Actions and Reactions published, a collection of stories that includes his pioneering science fiction tale of flying-boats that nightly cross the Atlantic, "With the Night Mail". Abaft the Funnel was published in the United States without RK's permission, incorporating uncollected early work, followed by an authorised edition issued for copyright reasons by his New York publishers.
Rewards and Fairies published, sequel to Puck of Pook's Hill but more complex. RK later wrote that it was "really meant for grown-ups". Includes his single most famous poem: "If-"
RK collaborated in A School History of England , with the right-wing historian C.R.L.Fletcher.
Visit to Egypt. Published Songs from Books, a collection of poems that had been published in, or as introductions or afterwords to, his prose writings; some of them being expanded. The Harbour Watch, a play written in collaboration with his daughter Elsie, was performed in London but folded after a few performances.
John Kipling reported missing, believed killed, in his first battle on the Western Front. From this time RK was constantly in pain from a gastric ulcer. He published some (censored) articles of war journalism, collected as The New Army in Training and France at War.
Further war journalism : Sea Warfare and The Eyes of Asia.
RK joined the War Graves Commission. He published A Diversity of Creatures, a collection of stories mainly written before the outbreak of war, but including two "tales of '15", one of which ("Mary Postgate") has been seen as among the most important of his late stories RK also published in newspapers a series of war articles about the Italian-Austrian front, The War in the Mountains.
The Years Between, a collection of poems written during the period from just after the Boer War till the aftermath of World War I. Includes "Epitaphs of the War".
Letters of Travel 1892-1913, a collection of old articles on Japan, the United States, Canada and Egypt.
The Irish Guards in The Great War ( 2 vols) , a regimental history compiled from soldier's letters and diaries, and the reminiscences of survivors. Includes a typically terse and stoic reference to the death of his own son. Land and Sea Tales for Scouts and Guides published, a collection of old uncollected stories with two new additions and extra verse.
Daughter Elsie married Captain George Bambridge, M.C., ex-Irish Guards.
Debits and Credits, a book of short stories that expands some of the material collected in writing The Irish Guards in The Great War, as well as resuming some topics of earlier Kipling stories; fables, animals, English history, Stalky & Co's views on education. The final story, "The Gardener", has been classed with "Mary Postgate" as of particular interest to feminists and to students of English society during World War I, while its ambiguous narrative also makes it interesting to students of modernism.
Voyage to Brazil.
A Book of Words published, a volume of collected speeches.
Thy Servant a Dog published, a series about a family living in an English country house told from the viewpoint of their dogs. Visit to the West Indies and stay of three months in Bermuda, due to Mrs Kipling's illness.
Limits and Renewals published, RK's last story collection; includes some final stories on the injuries left by World War I, two imaginative tales from the life of St Paul, and "Dayspring Mishandled" a much-studied tale of a literary forgery, with some bitter comments on the relationships between authors and critics.
RK's ulcer finally diagnosed. Souvenirs of France published, a series of essays on RK's love affair with that country.
Following a haemorrhage, Kipling died 18th January.
Something of Myself for my Friends Known and Unknown published, written in the last year of his life, and edited by his widow with the help of Lord Webb-Johnson his surgeon and friend.
The Sussex Edition of RK's works, which includes RK's final revisions, but which had to be completed by others after his death.
Mrs Kipling died, bequeathing their home at Bateman's to the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest. The Definitive Edition of Rudyard Kipling's Verse published by Hodder
and Stoughton; lacks some poems collected in Sussex edition.
Mrs Elsie Bambridge RK's sole surviving child, died childless. His copyrights bequeathed by her to the National Trust.