Dec. 30 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of British author Rudyard Kipling, the first English writer to receive the Nobel Prize for literature.
Born in India and educated in England, Kipling showed early brilliance as a writer of short fiction. His first works appeared while working as a journalist for English-language newspapers in India. In 1889 he returned to England, aged 23, and launched into a life of writing. Kipling reissued many of the short stories first published in India as well as new collections to much success.
Kipling was a prolific writer who showcased life and politics in the British Empire, and his belief in that empire has since been labeled as imperialistic or jingoistic. Yet the depth and breadth of his work is still appreciated by writers, readers, and critics, and his children’s stories, including The Jungle Book, remain popular.
The Victorian and Edwardian literature collections contains nearly 500 first and early editions of Kipling’s works, including first editions of poetry and short story collections as well as individual stories, articles, and poems published in periodicals throughout Kipling’s career.