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Rudyard Kipling Biography | Poet

Photo of Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling was born Joseph Rudyard Kipling in Mumbai, India on December 30, 1865 to well-connected English parents. Kipling masterfully took his life experiences and wove it into exotic tales and thought-provoking poems. His work has cemented him as one of the best story tellers and poets of the late Victorian era.

One of Kipling's most famous works is The Jungle Books, a collection of poems and stories which has been a beloved piece of literature since its first publication in 1894. This work was famously revived by Walt Disney Productions and turned into a very well-known film in 1967 titled The Jungle Book. Rudyard Kipling's other major works include Just So Stories, "The Man Who Would Be King", and "Gunga Din". "Gunga Din" was published in 1892, and is a narrative poem about an English soldier stationed in India. "Gunga Din" was the basis of a 1939 film of the same name.

Rudyard Kipling left India at the age of five for six years in order to obtain a formal education in England. During that time, he and his sister stayed under the care of an abusive foster family, which spurred him to write as a means of escape and solace. After being removed from the foster family by his mother, Rudyard Kipling went on to a school in Devon where he thrived, honed his writing skills, and edited the school's newspaper. In 1878, Kipling attended the United Services College, which was a preparatory school for the British Army. His experiences there resulted in him writing Stalky and Co., which was published in 1899. Eventually, Rudyard Kipling returned to India in 1882 after being unable to afford college. Returning to India brought back his beloved early memories of the country and inspired him to continue writing.

Kipling's years spent in India were among his most fondly remembered, and Kipling commemorated the culture of India, its language, and his life there in many of his books and poems. During his time in Lahore, India, he wrote for the Civil and Military Gazette. 1886 was the year Rudyard Kipling published Departmental Ditties, his first collection of verses and poetry. After leaving India, getting married, and living for a few years in Brattleboro, Vermont, he wrote The Jungle Books. Upon returning to England, Kipling continued to be inspired by India and created works such Just So Stories, another of his best-known and best-loved pieces of work which was published in 1902. It is a compilation of read-aloud stories geared towards children, with tales including "How the Camel Got His Hump", "The Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo", and "The Cat That Walked by Himself".

Rudyard Kipling died on January 18, 1936 in London at the age of 70. During his time, he was one of Britain's most popular writers. He received the distinctions of being the first English-language poet and the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1907. He was also chosen several times for the British Poet Laureatship and knighthood, although Kipling declined to receive these honors. Generations across the world continue to enjoy his poems and stories, ensuring that his legacy lives on. 

Rudyard Kipling: Poems | Best Poems | Short Poems | Quotes

Book: Shattered Sighs