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I don’t know, I’ve never kippled

We’re determined to make the most of Summer this year. We didn’t get many days out last Summer, and this year we’ve been extremely lucky with the weather. So it was off to Bateman’s yesterday — Kipling’s last home.

There’s something sad about the house. And positively non-Euclidean — it’s somehow much smaller on the inside than the outside. But still, a good day out, and Uncle B found a much quicker route to get there, so we’ll probably go more often. Have to squeeze every entertainment penny out of the effing expensive National Trust membership.

They cleverly left copies of his books about, with “available to purchase in the gift shop” written inside the covers. So I tucked into Puck of Pook’s Hill while Uncle B wandered about on his own. I think that’s my favorite Kipling, but the man was hella prolific, and I got to wondering how many of his I haven’t read.

That’s when I discovered Delphi Classics. They’re an eBook publisher that specializes in “Complete Works of…” editions of out-of-copyright classic authors. Nicely formatted for a couple of bucks. Buy them through Amazon or right from the publisher.

I don’t know about you, but I’m crazy about owning an author’s complete works. Even in the days when that meant that nice mister Dickens took up five feet of shelf space. There’s something deeply satisfactory about having them all together in one clean set, not a hodge-podge of mongrel editions with half a dozen books left out. I have a feeling I’ll be visiting Delphi again.

They all come as one big Kindle file, but they have a table of contents, so that’s okay. I’m going chronologically by publication date, starting with the novels. I read The Light that Failed all afternoon, and I’m still at 1% of the collected works. See you in the Fall.

Oh, yeah — Dead Pool tomorrow! 6pm WBT! I’m going to set it up right now, so I *can’t* forget this time.


Comment from Paula Douglas
Time: July 31, 2014, 11:01 pm

I love Rudy. I know he’s all unfashionable now because he used the word “coolie” or something, but if anything that just adds to his appeal. I haven’t read very many of his works, but If kicks ass all on its own, even though it is just poetry, and I’ve read The Jungle Books dozens of times.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: July 31, 2014, 11:22 pm

Haha, I have Shakespeare’s complete works & it cost me less than $1 & it takes up one largish slot on the ol’ book shelf. God bless Riverside Editions, & God bless libraries who throw them out.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: July 31, 2014, 11:23 pm

& yeah, I love Kipling. He was an utter master of the English language.

Comment from surly ermine
Time: August 1, 2014, 12:01 am

I still enjoy Chuck Jones Rikki Rikki Tavi.
Anyone who enjoys the Jungle Book should check out Jim Corbett’s stuff. I couldn’t put them down.

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: August 1, 2014, 12:04 am

How does the average Brit view Kipling? From what I can tell (BBC, PBS, etc) it would seem most Brits really dislike the guy due to his patriotic bent.

And then there’s that whole firearm thing. I mean, when I read the Jungle books, the master’s “boom stick” saved the day for the baby, right? Brits don’t like guns laying about the house, even if they might accidentally save the baby from the cobra.

Just curious because my only input is from the media, which often misrepresents the wider population.

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: August 1, 2014, 2:02 am

Not sure you can do it with WordPress, but with Joomla you can do a ‘timed publish’ where you can set a start time and end time for a post…handy!

Comment from Some Former GI
Time: August 1, 2014, 3:02 am

I love Kipling’s ‘Tommy’ and this is a nice reading of it. Soldiers are treated fairly decently since 9/11 but that never lasts.

Comment from Davem123
Time: August 1, 2014, 3:31 am

I do love Kipling. My kids grew up with Daddy reading them Just So Stories and the Jungle Book. If, Gods of the Copybook Headings, Kim and all the rest. Mandatory reading.

Comment from Deborah
Time: August 1, 2014, 3:56 am

“Captains Courageous.” I need to find a copy for my 11-year old granddaughter. She’s at the perfect age.

Re: completed sets of books by one author. I collect books by two authors that are not popular enough to be published in collections I suppose. But I’ve spent over 40 years gathering them, so remembering how I acquired each book is part of the charm. Oh. Paul Gallico and Neville Shute (Norway). Gallico uses the Scheherazade method of story-telling, and Shute, who was an engineer, is very methodical and lays out his story precisely, like he was recording it in a log book.

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: August 1, 2014, 8:09 am

We live in the time when the Gods of the Copybook Headings are about to return.

Comment from Oceania
Time: August 1, 2014, 11:31 am

I see that MH17 has 30 mm cannon holes through the cockpit … naughty Americans!

Your mercenaries also appear on camera, firing at MH17.

Comment from Can’t Hark My Cry
Time: August 1, 2014, 12:06 pm

Paula Douglas: “just poetry”? Bite your tongue! “The Last Rhyme of True Thomas,” “The Palace,” “Ballad of the King’s Jest,” “Mulholland’s Contract,” “Tomlinson,” “King Harry and the Shipwrights,” “Natural Theology,” “Ballad of Minepit Shaw,” “The Fairies’ Siege,” “Ballad of the Bolivar,” “McAndrew’s Hymn,” “The Sons of Martha,” The Second Voyage,” The Explanation.” And that’s just off the top of my head; I could go on and on. And on. (And often do). While I will concede, at least on some level, T.S. Eliot’s point, that Kipling wrote verse as opposed to poetry, his verse was nonetheless utterly brilliant, and we are richer for his having written it.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 1, 2014, 4:12 pm

Good heavens, it’s Oceania! I thought he’d succumbed to that flesh-eating wotsit or something.

Gods of the Copybook Headings. I’ve been meaning to do a post on that sometime. How apt it is at the moment, I mean.

Funny, tom, Uncle B and I were talking about that not an hour ago. Officially, above board, you’re quite right that Kipling is hated and reviled by the British chattering classes, for all the obvious reasons. But I wonder if there aren’t still many secret Kipling readers.

Comment from J.S.Bridges
Time: August 1, 2014, 7:10 pm

…it’s Oceania! I thought he’d succumbed to that flesh-eating wotsit or something.

Apparently, no such luck – yet, anyway. P’raps he/she/it will take a li’l one-way sojourn to Liberia soon, understand they’ve a “bit of bother” there just now re: that lovely little “gift” un-fondly known as Ebola, and they could likely use a wee, basically-unintelligent (and mostly unintelligible) Kiwi in the temporary capacity of “volunteer victim”…if not, well – them as go about sneering pointlessly ’bout “naughty Americans” thru unwarranted allegations about “30 mm cannon holes” are pretty high on the list to find theirselves receiving such holes (or very similar) in theirownselves very soon, y’know?…

Kipling or Kippling, either way, should well be encouraged at most any and all junctures, say I – man knew and treated his language well, and also well-understood his topic, which (naturally enough) was/is the general madness of humanity, especially when beset by politickin’ and politicians and bureauc-rats.

…Kipling is hated and reviled by the British chattering classes…

All the more reason, one would say, to endear his works to the entire rest of the actually-civilized Globe.

Comment from Oceania
Time: August 2, 2014, 9:50 am

Oh the new strain? Yes, it has a massive homology disparity of 31% with the Zaire reference strain.

Recognise the work.

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: August 4, 2014, 7:58 pm

I just ran across a Kipling poem I had never read before. It fits my poor country too close for comfort. It is surprisingly modern …. and even mentions Diversity.

MacDonough’s Song


Subotai Bahadur

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: August 5, 2014, 4:23 am

You might want to dig up these two SF anthologies: A Separate Star and Heads to the Storm, both edited by David Drake and Sandra Miesel.

The stories in these books are Kipling-related: in some cases directly inspired by Kipling works, as explained by the authors. Some are classic stories dating far earlier (the two books were published in 1989), and were submitted by colleagues of the writers.

Also, the Kipling Society has just about all of his verse on-line to read, and a lot of short works that aren’t normally collected anywhere. Much of this material has been annotated, which can be really useful. (There are also annotation pages for works without the text – also useful.)

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