Sunday, December 30, 2007

Rudyard Kipling

Today we feature a portrait of Rudyard Kipling. Kipling is perhaps best remembered as the author of "The Jungle Book", a book that has been a favorite of children for the last hundred years. He was born on this day, December 30, in the year 1865 in Bombay, India.


  1. I dont know as I've ever seen a photo of Rudyard Kipling. :)

    Happy birthday, Rudyard!

  2. At the height of his fame, Kipling was the most famous man in the British Empire. By the time of his death in the 1930s, he was largely overlooked and spurned. The kind of jingoism and racism he believed in (and whatever his boosters might say, he was a terrible racist) had largely gone out of fashion by then, at least in Britain. Still, he was a great writer and a very fine poet (with regard to that last, not in the A school, but certainly at the very top of the B).

  3. I never knew he was a racist. I just remember enjoying his books and short stories as a child. Also, I liked the photograph of him. He appears to be quiet the dapper gentleman.

  4. From BC Bookworld:

    'Kipling was a vitriolic racist, spewing venom about Huns, Yids and Micks. He was equally contemptuous of trade unionists, liberals and suffragettes. Kipling's rhetoric was taken seriously in British Columbia, an outpost of Empire. He ominously advised, "The time is coming when you will have to choose between the desired reinforcements of your own stock and blood, and the undesired races to whom you are strangers, whose speech you do not understand, and from whose instincts and traditions you are separated by thousands of years." '

  5. Too bad . . . I really liked his hat. Seriousely though, it is interesting how sometimes men are so great in one area, and so lacking in another. William Shockley was a primary inventor of the transistor, which could be considered perhaps the single most revolutionary development of the last 200 years. Later in life he developed some rather unfortunate theories on race and intelligence. It is too bad that men like Kipling and Shockley are sometimes remembered more for their mistakes than for their great work.

  6. "It is too bad that men like Kipling and Shockley are sometimes remembered more for their mistakes"

    I think that's correct in two cases:

    1) Where the evil is of such a magnitude that it pretty much puts in the shade everything else.

    2) Where the evil is integral to the ideology behind the individual's work. I think that is to a large extent true of Kipling.

  7. "The evil men do lives after them, but the good is oft interred with their bones." Julias Caeser, by Shakespeare.

  8. Q: Do you like Kipling?

    A: I don't know. I've never kipled.


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