Rudyard Kipling Facts and Biography

Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling Biography Summary: Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936) was a famous author whose best known works included the Just So Stories, Kim, The Man Who Would Be King, Captains Courageous and The Jungle Book. Rudyard Kipling was also a great poet  and much admired for his poem entitled "If - " which he wrote in 1895 as British Nobel laureate. Born in India to English parents he found himself uprooted from his family at a very young aged to be educated in England. Rudyard Kipling was very well-travelled and life experiences, coupled with a extraordinary imagination, saw him write stories of all kinds. In particular he found his children’s stories most popular.

Rudyard Kipling lost two of his own children in terrible circumstances, one due to illness and the other to war, but his second daughter Elsie survived.

Rudyard Kipling Fact Sheet: Who was Rudyard Kipling? The following short biography and fact sheet provides interesting facts about the life, times and history of Rudyard Kipling.


Facts about Rudyard Kipling


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Rudyard Kipling Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1865 - 1936 *** Full Name: Joseph Rudyard Kipling *** Occupation: English Short-Story Writer, Novelist and Poet *** Date of Birth: Rudyard Kipling was born on December 30th 1865 *** Place of Birth: Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay, India *** Early life and childhood: He grew up initially in India until he was five years old and his younger sister, Alice (Trix) was three when they were taken to England to live with a couple that took children in whose parents were serving in India *** Education: Rudyard Kipling received an English education until 1878 when he began attending the United Services College at Westward Ho in Devon, a preparatory school for entering the British Army *** Rudyard Kipling died on January 18, 1936

Rudyard Kipling Fact 1: Rudyard Kipling was born on December 30th 1865 in Bombay, India. His father was John Lockwood Kipling who was a sculptor and pottery designer and his mother was Alice MacDonald. Alice’s sisters both married well known painters, her sister Georgiana married Edward Burne-Jones and her sister Agnes married Edward Poynter. His father was a cousin to Stanley Baldwin who became the Conservative Prime Minister of the UK three times

Rudyard Kipling Fact 2: Kipling’s early memories of school where quite horrific and his Aunt Georgy, who he often spent holidays with, often scolded him for not speaking up about his mistreatment.

Rudyard Kipling Fact 3: When Rudyard Kipling finished school he returned to India where he took a position as Principal of the Mayo College of Art as well as being Curator of the Lahore Museum. His return to India was a homecoming and at once felt like he had never left.

Rudyard Kipling Fact 4: Rudyard Kipling would also become an assistant editor of a local newspaper called the Civil & Military Gazette as later he would write for the The Pioneer in Allahabad.

Rudyard Kipling Fact 5: Rudyard Kipling absolutely loved writing for the Civil & Military Gazette referring to it as “mistress and most true love”. When the editor changed he was given more freedom to contribute short stories which he revelled in.

Rudyard Kipling Fact 6: He would eventually be transferred from the Civil & Military to the larger publication of The Pioneer where Rudyard Kipling continued to churn out short stories.

Rudyard Kipling Fact 7: It was in 1888 that Rudyard Kipling would publish his first collection of stories, Plain Tales from the Hills, was published in Calcutta. As a result of a dispute with The Pioneer and with an eye to his future, he decided to return to England.

Rudyard Kipling Fact 8: On his journey back to Britain, Rudyard Kipling made several stops along the way. He began in San Francisco by way of Rangoon to Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan. While in American he visited Portland in Oregon, Seattle in Washington, up to Canada and Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia, back into the America to Yellowstone National Park and on through Salt Lake City, Omoha, Nabraska, Chicago, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Niagara falls, Toronto, Washington D.C., New York and finally Boston.

Rudyard Kipling Fact 9: Finally he reached London where he settled for two years and he wrote The Light that Failed. Rudyard Kipling then suffered a nervous breakdown. Once recovered he decided to travel once more and took a sea voyage that took him to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and back India.

Rudyard Kipling Fact 10: While in India he heard of the death of Wolcott Balestier and immediately made plans to return first sending a telegram to Caroline Starr Balestier, Wolcott’s sister, with whom he had had a romance.

Rudyard Kipling Fact 11: In January of 1892 Rudyard and Caroline Starr Balestier (Carrie) married in London.

Rudyard Kipling Fact 12: After a honeymoon that saw them travel to the United States and Japan, they found out that their bank had failed. They returned to the U.S. and set up home in a small cottage with very minimal second hand furniture and it was here that the story of the Jungle Books came to Rudyard Kipling.

Rudyard Kipling Fact 13: Their first child would also be born in that cottage during the festive season and within one day of her mother’s birthday and two days of her father’s birthday, little Josephine was born on December 29th 1892, with her mother’s birthday being 30th and her father’s on the 31st of December. Another daughter was welcomed into the family, Elsie, born February 2nd of 1896.

Rudyard Kipling Fact 14: So happy were the couple living in Vermont they felt they had found their forever home, but two instances would shatter that dream. The being a diplomatic dispute over British Guiana that would result in bad feeling from the Americans to the English and Rudyard Kipling found life distressing at this time and secondly a family breakup that culminated in Carrie’s brother threatening psychical violent on Rudyard which went to a court hearing and the family decided to just pack up and return to England.

Rudyard Kipling Fact 15: The couple settled in Torquay in Devon and would also have their second child, a son John, while living there.

Rudyard Kipling Fact 16: They also began taking their annual winter holiday in South Africa, a trip they would make yearly until 1908.

Rudyard Kipling Fact 17: In 1899 during a visit to New York, Rudyard Kipling and his daughter Josephine developed pneumonia. Little six year old Josephine died.

Rudyard Kipling Fact 18: After the death of his little daughter, Rudyard Kipling began collating material for children stories.

Rudyard Kipling Fact 19: Rudyard Kipling would experience the height of this career during the first ten years of the 20th century and would also in 1907 be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Rudyard Kipling Fact 20: In 1915, at aged just eighteen, Kipling’s son John was Killed in Action during World War I. After the death of his son Rudyard Kipling wrote “If any question why we died / Tell them, because our fathers lied.”

Rudyard Kipling Fact 21: On January 18, 1936 Joseph Rudyard Kipling died aged seventy years. His body was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium and his ashes buried at Poets’ Corner.

Influence & Legacy: Stories such as Jungle Book have remained firm favorites with children the world over. The Walt Disney company have produced much of his work and the movies are enjoyed by all generations.

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