Monday, January 13, 2014

Plain Tales From the Hills  -  1888
Rudyard Kipling
256 pages
genre  -  short stories
my rating  -  2 out of 5 stars

This is my first experience reading anything of Kipling's works.  I did not enjoy Plain Tales from the Hills as much as I thought I would.  I should probably read later publications just to see how much his writing improved over the years.

Near the end of Kipling's years at college, his parents obtained a job for him as the assistant editor of a small newspaper in Lahore, Punjab, (now in Pakistan) called the Civil & Military Gazette.  It was in this newspaper that Kipling published thirty-nine stories between November 1886 and June 1887. Kipling included most of these stories in Plain Tales from the Hills, which was published a month after his 22nd birthday.

Some of the stories are quite short; others are longer.  Some of the stories are humorous; others are very sad.  Some of the stories have a moral; others seem to have no point at all.  Truly a grab bag of tales.  Only a few a the stories would I ever read again.

About the author  - 

Rudyard Kipling was born on 30 December 1865 in Bombay, India, to Alice MacDonald and John Lockwood Kipling.  John Lockwood and Alice had met in 1863 and courted at Rudyard Lake in Rudyard, Staffordshire, England. They married, and moved to India in 1865. They had been so moved by the beauty of the Rudyard Lake area that they named their first child, a boy, after it.

On 18 January 1892, Carrie Balestier and Rudyard Kipling were married in London, in the "thick of an influenza epidemic, when the undertakers had run out of black horses and the dead had to be content with brown ones."  The author, Henry James, gave the bride away.

Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, used many themes from The Jungle Book in setting up his junior movement, the Wolf Cubs. 

Kipling kept writing until the early 1930s, but at a slower pace than before. On the night of 12 January 1936, Kipling suffered a haemorrhage in his small intestine. He underwent surgery, but died less than a week later on 18 January 1936 at the age of 70.

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