||Rudyard Kipling will always be in some way associated with India and British colonialism, but the nature of that connection has not yet been sufficiently explored. Enter Charles Allen, another English writer who spent his formative years in India, who has here written what will surely be the definitive biography of the young Kipling. Allen reveals that Kipling's family never ranked among the upper class of the British colonials, though they still kept "Ruddy" surrounded by an ample brigade of Indian servants, who profoundly influenced his upbringing. While some still consider Kipling's literary depictions of India to be condescending and disjunctive, Allen's concise analyses reveal that Kipling's explorations of the racial and class differences that divided colonial India were often fraught with anguish and contrition.
||The first biography of Kipling's younger years: his Indian childhood, abandonment in England, and coming of age as a writer.Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay in 1865 and spent his earlyyears there, before being sent to England at the age of six, wherehe was desperately unhappy. Charles Allen's great-grandfatherbrought the sixteen-year-old Kipling back to India to work on Thecivil and military gazette, and thus began young Rudyard's literary career. He arrived in Bombay on October 18, 1882--"a prince enteringhis kingdom"--and for the next seven years, his writing establishedhim as a popular and critical, though sometimes controversial,success. Allen has written a brilliant account of these formativeyears--as a child in India, his unhappy years in England, and hiscoming of age back "home" in Bombay. in this tale of family andempire, Allen traces the Indian experiences of Kipling's parents,Lockwood and Alice, and reveals what kind of culture the youngwriter was born into and how it would shape his life and writingover the next twenty years.