The Letters of Rudyard Kipling: 1911-19

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University of Iowa Press, 1990 - Literary Criticism - 620 pages

The fourth volume of Rudyard Kipling's letters, now collected and edited for the first time, continues the story of his life from the end of the Edwardian era through the Great War, a crisis in Kipling's life as well as in that of the world.

The years before the war saw the publication of Rewards and Fairies and Songs from Books. In politics, the great issue was Irish home rule and the fate of Ulster. At the outbreak of the war Kipling devoted himself to the struggle. He wrote patriotic verse, made recruiting speeches, and traveled as a correspondent to the French and Italian fronts. He published no new fiction, only what he wrote as correspondent and propagandist: France at War, The Fringes of the Fleet, and The Eyes of Asia.

In 1915 his only son, John, was killed in the Battle of Loos; at the same time Kipling began to suffer from the undiagnosed ulcer that would torment him for the rest of his life. His last volume of poems, The Years Between, published in 1919, embodies the suffering and bitterness of these years.


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About the author (1990)


Thomas Pinney is William M. Keck Distinguished Service Professor of English, emeritus, at Pomona College and former chair of the department. In addition to editing the first four volumes of Kipling’s letters, he is the editor of the Essays of George Eliot and the Letters of Thomas Babington Macaulay and the author of A History of Wine in America.

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