Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling


12/30/1865, Bombay, British India



Birth Name

Joseph Rudyard Kipling


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Kipling was the son of John Lockwood Kipling, an artist, and Alice Macdonald Kipling and was named after the Staffordshire village of Rudyard where his parents spent their honeymoon. His parents lived much of their lives in British India and had important family connections, including the pre-Raphaelite painter…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Kipling was portrayed on-screen by Christopher Plummer in the film of his story The Man Who Would Be King

    • Oscar Wilde: From the point of view of literature, Mr Kipling is a genius who drops his aspirates. From the point of view of life, he is a reporter who knows vulgarity better than any one has ever known it. (The Critic as Artist, 1891)

    • From 1922 to 1925, he served as Lord Rector of the University of St Andrews in Scotland.

    • He was a close friend of Cecil Rhodes, the founder of Rhodesia.

    • Kipling travelled widely in Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, India Burma, China, Japan, the United States, and Africa. He lived in Vermont, USA, for four years, and after 1897 he spent most of his winters in South Africa.

    • From 1878 to 1882, Kipling was educated at a boys' boarding school called the United Services College, then at Westward Ho! near Bideford in North Devon. This was the setting for his schoolboy stories of Stalky & Co. His old school later moved to Windsor and is now called the Imperial Service College.

    • His mother's sister was married to the important pre-Raphaelite artist Sir Edward Burne-Jones, and between the ages of six and twelve Kipling spent all his Christmas holidays with the Burne-Jones family.

    • Kipling was born in Bombay, British India, in a house which is now part of the campus of the Institute of Applied Art, which is the successor of the art school where Kipling's father was the principal.

    • In a BBC poll in 1995, Kipling's poem 'If ' was voted the UK's favourite poem.

    • Kipling's first job was as sub-editor on the Civil and Military Gazette in Lahore (then in British India, now in Pakistan). Two years later, he was travelling around India as a roving correspondent of the Allahabad Pioneer newspaper.

    • Kipling turned down the offer of a knighthood. He also refused the post of Poet Laureate.

    • Rudyard Kipling was a nephew of the painter Sir Edward Burne-Jones and a cousin of the British prime minister Stanley Baldwin.

    • Kipling married Caroline Starr Balestier, the sister of an American friend who had died. They lived for four years in Vermont, USA, before settling in England.

    • Rudyard Kipling was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907. He was only forty-two at the time, and is still the youngest-ever recipient of a Nobel Prize for Literature.

  • Quotes

    • Rudyard Kipling: And what should they know of England who only England know?

    • Rudyard Kipling: Four things greater than all things are - Women and Horses and Power and War.

    • Rudyard Kipling: We have forty million reasons for failure, but not a single excuse.

    • Rudyard Kipling: If you don't get what you want, it's a sign either that you did not seriously want it, or that you tried to bargain over the price.

    • Rudyard Kipling: Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.

    • Rudyard Kipling: San Francisco is a mad city - inhabited for the most part by perfectly insane people whose women are of a remarkable beauty.

    • Rudyard Kipling: He travels the fastest who travels alone.

    • Kipling:

      If any question why we died,
      Tell them, "because our fathers lied".

      (Lines written after his son, John Kipling, was killed in trench warfare at the Battle of Loos, 1915)