Rudyard Kipling

Joseph Rudyard Kipling , 1865 to 1936 was an English short-story writer, poet, and novelist. He wrote tales and poems of British soldiers in India and stories for children. Born in Bombay, in the Bombay Presidency of British India, he was taken by his family to England when he was five years old. He was one of the most popular writers in England, in both prose and verse, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Henry James said: "Kipling strikes me personally as the most complete man of genius (as distinct from fine intelligence) that I have ever known." In 1907, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, making him the first English-language writer to receive the prize, and its youngest recipient to date. Among other honours, he was sounded out for the British Poet Laureateship and on several occasions for a knighthood, all of which he declined. His works of fiction include The Jungle Book in 1894, Kim in 1901 and many short stories, including The Man Who Would Be King in 1888. His poems include Mandalay in 1890, Gunga Din in 1890, The Gods of the Copybook Headings in 1919, The White Man's Burden in 1899 and If in 1910. He is regarded as a major innovator in the art of the short story and his children's books are classics of children's literature. Kipling's subsequent reputation has changed according to the political and social climate of the age and the resulting contrasting views about him continued for much of the 20th century. George Orwell called him a prophet of British imperialism. Literary critic Douglas Kerr wrote: "He is still an author who can inspire passionate disagreement and his place in literary and cultural history is far from settled. But as the age of the European empires recedes, he is recognised as an incomparable, if controversial, interpreter of how empire was experienced. That, and an increasing recognition of his extraordinary narrative gifts, make him a force to be reckoned with.
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