In this gripping biography, Lycett goes back to basic sources to unravel the intricate story of a misunderstood genius who became Britain's most famous and highest earning author.
From his unpleasant upbringing in India; to plunging into journalism and dabbling with opium at the age of sixteen; to his depression whilst in London, rescued only by the friendship of maverick American publisher, Wolcott Balestier, whose sister Carrie he married. Lycett continues with the story on his life in Vermont in the United States, where Kipling found peace to both write and enjoy his family, until the tragedy of his beloved daughter's death in 1898 drove Kipling into meditations on mysticism and death.
Returning to Sussex in 1899, the modest Kipling (who refused all honours except the Nobel Prize for Literature) incongruously enjoyed being a country squire. He explored English history and railed against Germany, making it all the more crushing when his son was killed in the First World War. However, Kipling managed to transmute his sadness into crystalline late short stories, which are only gaining appreciation today.
With access to unpublished letters, Lycett rewrites Kipling's life story and at every stage brings new material and new insights to an enthralling personal saga that is also the story of England.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 12 / 1999
- 164 x 239mm