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Joseph Rudyard Kipling was an English journalist, writer, poet, and novelist of short stories. He was raised in India, a place that inspired much of his work. Kipling’s fictional works include The Jungle Book, Kim, and several short stories, including “The Man Who Would Be King.”
See the fact file below for more information on the Rudyard Kipling or alternatively, you can download our 20-page Rudyard Kipling worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay (now Mumbai), India, on December 30, 1865.
- His parents, John Lockwood Kipling and Alice Macdonald Kipling, were new arrivals as part of the British Empire in India at the time of his birth.
- The family lived well and Rudyard was especially close to his mother.
- Alice, an artist, was in charge of the Department of Architectural Sculpture at the Bombay Jeejeebhoy School of Art.
- At the age of six, Kipling was taken to England by his parents and lived at a foster home in Southsea for five years. The horrors of his experience there were portrayed in the story “Baa Baa, Black Sheep” (1888).
- Kipling was on the verge of a nervous breakdown by age 11. A visitor to his home saw his condition and immediately told his mother who flew back to England to save her son from the Holloways.
- His mother took him on an extended holiday to help calm his mind, and then put him in a new school in Devon. There, Kipling thrived and discovered his writing ability, eventually becoming school newspaper editor.
- In 1882, Kipling returned to India. This was a great time in the young writer’s life. The sights and sounds, even the language he felt he had forgotten, rushed back to him upon his arrival.
- Nighttime in particular proved valuable to the young writer. Kipling was a man of two cultures, someone who was welcomed by his British colleagues as well as the native community.
- He unfortunately suffered from insomnia and roamed the streets of the city at night, gaining access to the brothels and opium dens that rarely opened their doors to common Englishmen.
- During this time Kipling’s experiences formed the basis for a series of stories that he started writing and publishing.
- They were finally compiled into a series of 40 short stories called Plain Tales From the Hills, which gained widespread popularity in England.
- In 1889, seven years after he left England, Kipling returned to his shores in hopes that his book of short stories might gain him a modest amount of fame.
- He met Wolcott Balestier in London, an American agent and publisher who was soon to become one of his great friends and supporters.
- The two men grew up together and even traveled together to the United States, where Balestier welcomed his fellow writer to his childhood home of Brattleboro, Vermont.
- Kipling wrote, in addition to “Plain Tales From the Hills,” a second book of short stories, Wee Willie Winkie (1888), and American Notes (1891), chronicling his early impressions of America. He also wrote the poetry piece Barrack-Room Ballads in 1892.
- The relationship Kipling had with Wolcott Balestier changed the life of the young writer. He was soon introduced to the family of Balestier, particularly his sister, Carrie.
- The two appeared to be friends only but Kipling, who had traveled back to India to see his father, got an urgent cable from Carrie during the Christmas holiday of 1891. Wolcott had unexpectedly died of typhoid fever, and Carrie wanted to be with Kipling.
- Kipling flew back to England, and the two married at a small ceremony attended by American writer Henry James within eight days of his return.
JUNGLE BOOK AND NAULAHKA
- During this time, his works included The Jungle Book (1894), The Naulahka: A Tale of the West and the East (1892), and The Second Jungle Book (1895).
- The Jungle Book (1894) is a series of stories where most of the characters are animals like the tiger Shere Khan and the bear Baloo, while the main character is the Mowgli boy or “man-cub,” who is raised by wolves in the forest. In India, the stories are set in a forest; one of the places repeatedly described is “Seonee” (Seoni), in central Madhya Pradesh state.
- Kipling named Naulakha after the book. He and his good friend Wolcott Balestier wrote about a precious Indian diamond that is filled with a trove of their possessions.
- Through the Disney film adaptation of The Jungle Book, a musical filmed through 1967 loosely based on the original story, Kipling’s work entered the world of mainstream cultural entertainment.
- A live-action / Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) version of the film, directed by Jon Favreau and the vocal talents of Idris Elba, Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong’o and Scarlett Johansson, was later released in 2016.
Rudyard Kipling Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Rudyard Kipling across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Rudyard Kipling worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Joseph Rudyard Kipling who was an English journalist, writer, poet, and novelist of short stories. He was raised in India, a place that inspired much of his work. Kipling’s fictional works include The Jungle Book, Kim, and several short stories, including “The Man Who Would Be King.”
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Rudyard Kipling Facts
- History Timeline
- R.K. Page
- Fact or Bluff
- Kipling’s Profile
- Works of JRK
- Writer, Poet
- Book Review
- Scrambled Words
- Describe Me
- Bank of Words
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Use With Any Curriculum
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