Picture of Rudyard Kipling


Lifetime: 1865 - 1936 Passed: ≈ 88 years ago


Short-Story Writer, Novelist, Poet, Journalist



Rudyard Kipling

Kipling's writing has strongly influenced that of others. His stories for adults remain in print and have garnered high praise from writers as different as Poul Anderson, Jorge Luis Borges, and Randall Jarrell, who wrote: "After you have read Kipling's fifty or seventy-five best stories you realize that few men have written this many stories of this much merit, and that very few have written more and better stories

Joseph Rudyard Kipling (30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936) was an English journalist, short-story writer, poet, and novelist. He was born in India, which inspired much of his work.

In 1907, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, having been nominated in that year by Charles Oman, professor at the University of Oxford. The prize citation said it was "in consideration of the power of observation, originality of imagination, virility of ideas and remarkable talent for narration which characterize the creations of this world-famous author." Nobel prizes had been established in 1901 and Kipling was the first English-language recipient. At the award ceremony in Stockholm on 10 December 1907, the Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, Carl David af Wirsén, praised both Kipling and three centuries of English literature:

“The Swedish Academy, in awarding the Nobel Prize in Literature this year to Rudyard Kipling, desires to pay a tribute of homage to the literature of England, so rich in manifold glories, and to the greatest genius in the realm of narrative that that country has produced in our times”.

Kipling kept writing until the early 1930s, but at a slower pace and with less success than before. On the night of 12 January 1936, he suffered a haemorrhage in his small intestine. He underwent surgery, but died at Middlesex Hospital less than a week later on 18 January 1936, at the age of 70, of a perforated duodenal ulcer. His death had previously been incorrectly announced in a magazine, to which he wrote, "I've just read that I am dead. Don't forget to delete me from your list of subscribers.”

Books by Rudyard Kipling

The Jungle Book Cover image

The Jungle Book

Adventure Action
Animal Mowgli Man-cub Children India

This is the classic story of Mowgli, the young boy raised by wolves in India: his escapades and adventures with his dear friends Bagheera the panther and Baloo the bear, his capture by the Monkey People, his attempt at reintergration into human socie...

If  Cover image


Victorian Dream Tribute Think Advice

“If—” is a poem by British Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling, written in 1895 and first published in Rewards and Fairies, 1910. It is a tribute to Leander Starr Jameson. The poem is written in the form of paternal advice to the poet’s son, John. As poet...

Just So Stories Cover image

Just So Stories

Fairy Tale
Animal Children's Literature Short Stories

Written originally for his own children, Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories have continued to delight generations of youngsters since they were first published in 1902. The thirteen stories collected in this book are meant for very young children, but...

Kim Cover image


Spy Picaresque novel Himalayas

Kim is a novel by Nobel Prize-winning English author Rudyard Kipling. It was first published serially in McClure's Magazine from December 1900 to October 1901 as well as in Cassell's Magazine from January to November 1901, and first published in book...

The Man Who Would Be King Cover image

The Man Who Would Be King

Adventure Action Fiction
Short Stories India

"The Man Who Would Be King" (1888) is a story by Rudyard Kipling about two British adventurers in British India who become kings of Kafiristan, a remote part of Afghanistan. The story was first published in The Phantom Rickshaw and other Eerie Tales...

Captains Courageous Cover image

Captains Courageous

Adventure Novel
Nautical Juvenile fiction

Captains Courageous is an 1897 novel, by Rudyard Kipling, that follows the adventures of fifteen-year-old Harvey Cheyne Jr., the spoiled son of a railroad tycoon, after he is saved from drowning by a Portuguese fisherman in the north Atlantic. The no...

France At War: On the Frontier of Civilization Cover image

France At War: On the Frontier of Civilization

Fiction Essays
War Military Short Works

In 1915, as the "Great War" (World War 1) entered its second year Rudyard Kipling made a journalistic tour of the front, visiting French armed forces. By then he was already winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature (the first writer in English to be...

The Bridge Builders  Cover image

The Bridge Builders

Tale Dream River Revenge Science Earth God

The Bridge Builders is also a tale of the death of the Gods as their place in the earth is taken by the things of science. A close description of the building of a bridge across the River Ganges, the tale also tells of a vision of the Gods in an opiu...

The Second Jungle Book  Cover image

The Second Jungle Book

Fairy Tale
hunt Animal Children's Literature Jungle Childhood Peace India

The Second Jungle Book is a sequel to The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. First published in 1895, it features five stories about Mowgli and three unrelated stories, all but one set in India, most of which Kipling wrote while living in Vermont. All o...

The Fringes Of The Fleet  Cover image

The Fringes Of The Fleet

Poetry Essays
War Military Nautical Short Works Music

The Fringes of the Fleet is a booklet written in 1915 by Rudyard Kipling. The booklet contains essays and poems about nautical subjects in World War I. It is also the title of a song-cycle written in 1917 with music by the English composer Edward Elg...

Puck of Pook's Hill  Cover image

Puck of Pook's Hill

Adventure Action
Young Children Children's Literature Treasure Laws Historical

The stories are all narrated to two children living near Burwash, in the High Weald of Sussex, in the area of Kipling's own house Bateman's, by people magically plucked out of history by the elf Puck, or told by Puck himself. (Puck, who refers to him...

Abaft The Funnel  Cover image

Abaft The Funnel

Young Death Letters Responsibility

"Men in pajamas sitting abaft the funnel and swapping lies of the purple seas."

A Fleet In Being; Notes Of Two Trips With The Channel Squadron  Cover image

A Fleet In Being; Notes Of Two Trips With The Channel Squadron

Essays War
Military Short Works Navy Royalty

Kipling became involved in the debate over the British response to the rise in German naval power known as the Tirpitz Plan to build a fleet to challenge the Royal Navy, publishing a series of articles in 1898 which were collected as A Fleet in Being...

Stalky & Co. Cover image

Stalky & Co.

Short Story Slavery School Moral Patriotism British

Stalky & Co. is a novel by Rudyard Kipling about adolescent boys at a British boarding school. It is a collection of school stories whose juvenile protagonists display a know-it-all, cynical outlook on patriotism and authority. It was first published...

The New Army in Training Cover image

The New Army in Training

Non-Fiction War
Military Spirit Courage Sacrifice Duty Patriotism Resilience Human Spirit Soldiers

An unexpected threat looms large, summoning the reluctant heroes of a nation to face a daunting challenge. As the familiar battlefields of Europe witness the unfolding of World War I, a fresh force arises, poised to confront the ever-evolving face of...

I Keep Six Honest Serving-men Cover image

I Keep Six Honest Serving-men

Learning Poems Honesty Verses Fortnightly

"I keep six honest serving-men (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When And How and Where and Who." This poem by Rudyard Kipling is a celebration of curiosity and the power of asking questions. The speaker of the poem compa...

Mowgli: All of the Mowgli Stories from the Jungle Books Cover image

Mowgli: All of the Mowgli Stories from the Jungle Books

Fiction Fairy Tale
Animal Children Nature Jungle Challenges Journey Childhood Wildlife

In the depths of the Indian jungle, where the trees whisper secrets and the animals reign supreme, an extraordinary tale unfolds, capturing the imagination and enchanting the hearts of readers worldwide. "Mowgli: All of the Mowgli Stories from the Ju...

Rewards and Fairies Cover image

Rewards and Fairies

Joseph Rudyard Kipling (December 30, 1865 – January 18, 1936) was an English author and poet, born in India, and best known today for his children’s books, including The Jungle Book, Just So Stories, and Puck of Pook’s Hill; his novel, Kim; his poems...

American Notes Cover image

American Notes

In American Notes, Rudyard Kipling, the Nobel Prize-winning author of the Jungle Book, visits the USA. As the travel-diary of an Anglo-Indian Imperialist visiting the USA, these American Notes offer an interesting view of America in the 1880s.Kipling...

Light That Failed Cover image

Light That Failed

This novel, first published in 1890, follows the life of Dick Heldar, a painter. Most of the novel is set in London, but many important events throughout the story occur in Sudan or India. It was made into a 1916 film with Jose Collins and a 1939 fil...

Explanation Cover image


LibriVox volunteers bring you 16 recordings of The Explanation by Rudyard Kipling. This was the Weekly Poetry project for November 1st, 2009.

Plain Tales from the Hills Cover image

Plain Tales from the Hills

Named a "prophet of British imperialism" by the young George Orwell, and born in Bombay, India, Rudyard Kipling had perhaps the clearest contemporary eye of any who described the British Raj. According to critic Douglas Kerr: "He is still an author w...

Stalky & Co. (More Stories) Cover image

Stalky & Co. (More Stories)

This small collection puts together stories by Kipling that feature the characters from Stalky & Co. but which for some reason were not included in the book Stalky & Co. Of these the more interesting is the first, "Stalky", which introduces the chara...

Brushwood Boy Cover image

Brushwood Boy

The experiences in public school, Sandhurst and military life in India of Major George Cotter together with his adventures in the dream world he discovers and frequents. (Summary by Liam Neely)

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