Rudyard Kipling, Just So Stories


Rudyard Kipling, Just So Stories


  • Intro

    Kipling’s reputation as a poet and novelist has varied according to fashion: regarded widely in the late-19th century as an unofficial poet laureate of the British Empire, he was later criticised for vulgarity and jingoism. However, his writing for children has never lost its appeal, and the Just So Stories for Little Children show him at his most whimsical and inventive.


    Kipling’s early professional life was spent as a journalist in India, and his sharp observation of civilian and military life provided the material for several short stories which brought him success and celebrity. His use of colloquial dialect and accent in his poems, such as the Barrack Room Ballads (1892), show him to have been a great listener, and his poetry was always popular with the general reading public. But his use of alliteration and invented words in the Just So Stories locate his manipulation of language in a tradition dating back to the earliest English literature. The direct addressing of the reader in the repeated phrase ‘O best beloved’, running through all the stories, indicate that the stories are designed to be read aloud, while the extended glosses on the illustrations show the writer in a more intimate and less performative role.


    Shelfmark: 12809.t.64.

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