The fourth volume of Rudyard Kipling's letters, now collected and edited for the first time, continues the story of his life from the end of the Edwardian era through the Great War, a crisis in Kipling's life as well as in that of the world.
The years before the war saw the publication of Rewards and Fairies and Songs from Books. In politics, the great issue was Irish home rule and the fate of Ulster. At the outbreak of the war Kipling devoted himself to the struggle. He wrote patriotic verse, made recruiting speeches, and traveled as a correspondent to the French and Italian fronts. He published no new fiction, only what he wrote as correspondent and propagandist: France at War, The Fringes of the Fleet, and The Eyes of Asia.
In 1915 his only son, John, was killed in the Battle of Loos; at the same time Kipling began to suffer from the undiagnosed ulcer that would torment him for the rest of his life. His last volume of poems, The Years Between, published in 1919, embodies the suffering and bitterness of these years.
“The letters confirm Kipling's brilliance as an observer and chronicler of his time. His lucid style makes reading a joy.”—Choice
“Pinney's exemplary editing, his prodigious learning, never flaunted, embraces every source. His selection is judicious.”—London Review of Books
“Thomas Pinney's editing is informative, concise, always relevant.”—Financial Times
“These evocative, detailed, and entertaining letters are full of Kipling's marvelous descriptive power that vividly captures the era in which he lived. These letters will be of extreme interest to all those fascinated by Kipling's development as both a writer and a cultural critic.”—New York Review of Books
“…the whole correspondence is as compulsive to read through …as any of [Kipling's] stories.”—Times Literary Supplement
“Kipling is well served by his editor, Thomas Pinney. Pinney is discreet, methodical and judicious. His notes are brief and to the point, his selection of letters is wide-ranging and presented to form a coherent narrative.”—Times Literary Supplement