The Smith Administration
THE BRIDE'S PROGRESS
Notes edited by David Page.
In preparing these notes, the present
Editor has drawn where appropriate
on those of the ORG.
...it is one of Kipling’s most telling blows at a group of people he detested for their insufficient concern for India – the globe-trotters or tourists as we should say now. There was something fundamentally disagreeable to Kipling in the idea of people “touring” India. India must be your whole life or nothing. Later, the possible application of it to himself worried him in 1889 when he himself toured other Asian lands.Charles Allen reprinted the story in his Kipling’s Kingdom (1987) and introduced it thus:
In “The Bride’s Progress” a pair of newly-weds – of the despised species that Kipling always refers to as ‘globe-trotters’ – tour the Hindu holy city of Benares. Like most Punjab men, Kipling found the manifestations of Hinduism much less easy to tolerate than those of Islam – but he could still satirise the prejudices of the English bride, unable to see further than the city’s horrors.More recently in his Kipling Sahib (2007), he has strengthened his opinion that:
Kipling’s writing of this period is suffused with anti-Hindu rhetoric; the sentiments expressed in “The Bride’s Progress” are too heartfelt to be anything other than a true reflection of his views.