web analytics

Mister, Kipling


Nice day. Field trip!

We went to Burwash, to Rudyard Kipling’s house, Bateman’s, the farthest away of our regular National Trust jaunts. We’ve been there many times before (in fact, we first signed up to the National Trust there). Big, big Kipling fans, us.

It’s a desperately cool Jacobean house but, even better, his daughter left the whole thing — furniture, knick-knacks and all — to the Trust. So it’s as near exactly the way it was in Kipling’s lifetime, including all the shit on the desk and his trash can full of first drafts. The latter was emptied twice a day by a housemaid, who burned the contents. He was very, very controlling of his work and image.

Today, unexpectedly, they had a Kipling historian who was lucky enough to look a bit like Kipling (probably not a coincidence, that) giving a one-man show in the garden, telling the story of Kipling’s life. It was very well done.

It was full of fun Kipling facts. Like, he was born nine months after his parents took an enjoyable holiday at Rudyard Lake, Staffordshire. Nudge-nudge, wink-wink.

He was a kind of a pre-movie movie star. Before he moved to the country, a local pub landlord organized tours past his house. He wrote three times to complain about it before he learned the landlord was selling his complaint letters for cash.

In fact, toward the end of his life, tradesmen stopped cashing his checks (cheques here) — the autograph on it was worth more than the amount written.

We hope to do more of this, now it’s warmed up a bit. But it’s still very cold at night, like in the low fifties. It’s been such a miserable, cold Summer, even one of our dimmer acquaintances was heard to say, “I know they say the earth is warming, but…”


Comment from Glenster
Time: August 9, 2016, 9:44 pm

“I don’t know, I’ve never Kipled!”

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: August 9, 2016, 10:25 pm

@Glenster –
Confucius say, “Kippled helling velly tellible bleakfast!”

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: August 9, 2016, 10:28 pm

Stoatie, sounds like you and Unc B had a great day! I’m glad Kippling’s is Jacobean house, and not Jacobin. (-:

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: August 9, 2016, 11:56 pm

I would trade you our stinking hot summer for your cool one.

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: August 10, 2016, 1:19 am

Didn’t you people get the memo? Unusually cool weather is also evidence of Gerbil Worming.

Dryer than average? AGW. Wetter than average? AGW. AGW is the first known scientifically proven scientific fact that is not falsifiable. Everything that happens proves it. All the cool scientists say so.

Comment from Mr. Dave
Time: August 10, 2016, 10:23 am

Kipling visited Twain in NY. Twain’s quip: “Together we encompass all knowledge. Kipling knows everything worth knowing and I know all the rest.”

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: August 10, 2016, 1:17 pm

Summertime lows in the 50s? I *dream* of a climate like that.

Kipling’s star has been eclipsed lately — or maybe I should say the SJWs of the literary world have been telling us his star is a dim one, and racist to boot. His day will come around again. Anybody who produced work like “The Gods of the Copybook Headings” and “The Mary Gloster” —

“Lord, what boats I’ve handled – rotten and leaky and old –
Ran ’em, or – opened the bilge-cock, precisely as I was told.
“Grub that ‘ud bind you crazy, and crews that ‘ud turn you grey,
“And a big fat lump of insurance to cover the risk on the way.”

— and stories that continue to live on like Jungle Book and “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi” (I saw a new edition of that as a kids’ book in Target last week), well, Kipling won’t be forgotten or stay eclipsed forever.

Comment from technochitlin
Time: August 10, 2016, 2:29 pm

Kipling’s star will still be shining long after all the SJWs die, shivering and cold, alone in the frozen noxious world they’ve created for themselves.

Or something like that. One hopes.

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: August 10, 2016, 5:03 pm

“Ballad of the Bolivar” is one I like.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: August 10, 2016, 6:03 pm

I can’t remember when I last read Kipling. In high school, probably. I need to prowl around in the Kindle library to see what is available.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 10, 2016, 6:46 pm

May I recommend Puck of Pook’s Hill? It’s my favorite. It’s on the shortlist for my favorite book of all time.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: August 11, 2016, 12:57 pm

Just bought Puck of Pook’s Hill on Kindle. 🙂
A list of your all-time favorite books would made a nice post. I always enjoy seeing/reading the books that other people love the most.

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: August 13, 2016, 8:26 am

Shaw did the trick with checks too – but it only worked for bills less than two pounds. (Which is what his autograph sold for.) So he started paying his larger bills with multiple two pound checks.

I wonder if Kipling ever tried that…

Write a comment

(as if I cared)

(yeah. I'm going to write)

(oooo! you have a website?)

Beware: more than one link in a comment is apt to earn you a trip to the spam filter, where you will remain -- cold, frightened and alone -- until I remember to clean the trap. But, hey, without Akismet, we'd be up to our asses in...well, ass porn, mostly.

<< carry me back to ol' virginny