Rudyard Kipling, by Andrew Lycett

The new edition, November 2015

A note from John Radcliffe



Since Andrew Lycett’s splendid and deeply researched biography of Rudyard Kipling was published in 1999, it has been a standard work of reference for scholars and the general reader alike. My copy is much thumbed, and much quoted in the New Readers’ Guide.

Terry Eagleton has written:
Andrew Lycett's magnificently thorough biography tracks him from his days as a young journalist in India, wandering stoned around the Khyber Pass in tribal dress, to the eminence grise of his later years in England, a crony of George V and a pillar of the Athenaeum. Even then, however, he gave off the whiff of the outsider - "an awful little bounder", as one irate colonel described him.

...The book is neither an apologia nor a polemic; there is no feebly disingenuous attempt to excuse Kipling's racist ravings, or to maintain, as others have done, that his more odious political doctrines have simply been misunderstood. There is no doubt, after this detailed, definitive record, that Kipling held some appalling, savage views of his fellow creatures, which the shattering loss of his son in the First World War did nothing to moderate. But he was blessed with an outstanding verbal inventiveness as well as cursed with visceral prejudice, and this magisterial study does justice to both aspects of the man.
Orion Books have just republished a new edition in paperback, to mark the 150th anniversary of Kipling’s birth, with a new introduction by Andrew. They have agreed a special discounted price to Kipling Society members of £9.35, which with U.K. shipping costs takes the price to £12.44.

You can order by contacting maggy.park@orionbooks.co.uk (Tel: 020 3122 6868).


[JR]