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Something of myself and other autobiographical writings / Rudyard Kipling; ed. Thomas Pinney

Main Author Kipling, Rudyard Secondary Author Pinney, Thomas Country Reino Unido. Publication Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1991 Description XXXV, 294 p. ; 22 cm ISBN 0-521-40584-X CDU 820 KIPLING 929 KIPLING
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
Monografia Biblioteca Geral da Universidade do Minho
BGUMD 120487 Available 127753
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Rudyard Kipling's autobiography, Something of Myself, was the author's last work, but it has not received the serious attention it deserves. Thomas Pinney's edition of the work, supplemented by other autobiographical pieces, aims to change that. Professor Pinney, a leading textual editor currently engaged on Kipling's letters, has consulted the available source material relating to Something of Myself. He has constructed an outline of the book's composition; described the history of its publication; established a text and a set of variants; and given a critical account of the book's design and its main themes. His annotations to the work (and to the supplementary pieces) identify references and allusions, and provide a biographical context against which Kipling's selections, omissions, and distortions may clearly be seen. The extent to which Kipling's description of his life failed to match what actually happened is extraordinary. Two of the additional items presented here (Kipling's Indian diary of 1885 and the illustrations he made for his autobiographical story, 'Baa Baa, Black Sheep') are previously unpublished. Pinney shows how they, and other forms of autobiographical writing, reflect upon or complicate the narrative of Something of Myself. This carefully prepared edition sheds new light on Kipling as a man and writer.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Introduction
  • Abbreviations and short titles Something of Myself (1937)
  • 1 A very young person
  • 2 The school before its time
  • 3 Seven years' hard
  • 4 The interregnum
  • 5 The committee of ways and means
  • 6 South Africa
  • 7 The very-own house
  • 8 Working-tools Baa, Baa, Black Sheep (1888) My First Book (1892) An English School (1893) Kipling's Diary, 1885
  • Notes Glossary of Anglo-Indian words and phrases
  • Index

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Kipling, who as a novelist dramatized the ambivalence of the British colonial experience, was born of English parents in Bombay and as a child knew Hindustani better than English. He spent an unhappy period of exile from his parents (and the Indian heat) with a harsh aunt in England, followed by the public schooling that inspired his "Stalky" stories. He returned to India at 18 to work on the staff of the Lahore Civil and Military Gazette and rapidly became a prolific writer. His mildly satirical work won him a reputation in England, and he returned there in 1889. Shortly after, his first novel, The Light That Failed (1890) was published, but it was not altogether successful.

In the early 1890s, Kipling met and married Caroline Balestier and moved with her to her family's estate in Brattleboro, Vermont. While there he wrote Many Inventions (1893), The Jungle Book (1894-95), and Captains Courageous (1897). He became dissatisfied with life in America, however, and moved back to England, returning to America only when his daughter died of pneumonia. Kipling never again returned to the United States, despite his great popularity there.

Short stories form the greater portion of Kipling's work and are of several distinct types. Some of his best are stories of the supernatural, the eerie and unearthly, such as "The Phantom Rickshaw," "The Brushwood Boy," and "They." His tales of gruesome horror include "The Mark of the Beast" and "The Return of Imray." "William the Conqueror" and "The Head of the District" are among his political tales of English rule in India. The "Soldiers Three" group deals with Kipling's three musketeers: an Irishman, a Cockney, and a Yorkshireman. The Anglo-Indian Tales, of social life in Simla, make up the larger part of his first four books.

Kipling wrote equally well for children and adults. His best-known children's books are Just So Stories (1902), The Jungle Books (1894-95), and Kim (1901). His short stories, although their understanding of the Indian is often moving, became minor hymns to the glory of Queen Victoria's empire and the civil servants and soldiers who staffed her outposts. Kim, an Irish boy in India who becomes the companion of a Tibetan lama, at length joins the British Secret Service, without, says Wilson, any sense of the betrayal of his friend this actually meant. Nevertheless, Kipling has left a vivid panorama of the India of his day.

In 1907, Kipling became England's first Nobel Prize winner in literature and the only nineteenth-century English poet to win the Prize. He won not only on the basis of his short stories, which more closely mirror the ambiguities of the declining Edwardian world than has commonly been recognized, but also on the basis of his tremendous ability as a popular poet. His reputation was first made with Barrack Room Ballads (1892), and in "Recessional" he captured a side of Queen Victoria's final jubilee that no one else dared to address.

(Bowker Author Biography)

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