India and the Making of Rudyard Kipling
Pegasus Books, Hardcover, 9781605980317, 426pp.
Publication Date: March 1, 2009
List Price: $28.00*
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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.