BLOG_Kipling_The Jungle BookThis year is the centenary of the First World War (1914 – 1918) and throughout the year, there are different events being organised around the UK to commemorate one of the deadliest conflicts in history.

The BBC has put together a number of documentaries, TV and radio dramas around what is also known as the Great War. Tomorrow (4 August) marks the day Great Britain declared war on Germany.

So, you may ask what has Rudyard Kipling got to do with the First World War? Apart from being one of the most popular writers in England in the late 19th century and 20th century in both prose and poetry, he was also a staunch supporter of the British Empire. Indeed, in the 21st century he is considered the authentic voice of the life and character of the British Empire.

When Britain declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914, he played a fundamental role in gathering support for the war effort and encouraging young men to join the military. So entrenched was his belief in the war and Britain’s role in it, he sent his own son who had extremely bad eyesight to war with tragic consequences. It was watching the film about his son, “My Boy Jack” last week that got me thinking of Rudyard Kipling and his literary legacy.

Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

Born and brought up in India, most of Rudyard Kipling’s stories were about British soldiers in India.

His most famous works include, The Jungle Book, the story of a boy, Mowgli, who was raised by a pack of wolves in India; Kim about an orphaned Irish boy living in India and the Just So stories, a collection of fantastic stories for children. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907.

In today’s post, I’d like to remember Rudyard Kipling through his literature. I’d like to share with you 10 of his quotes that resonate with me. They appeared in his literary works and speeches.

1. “There is no sin so great as ignorance. Remember this.” (Kim)

2. “Asia is not going to be civilised after the methods of the West. There is too much Asia and she is too old.” 

3. “He travels the fastest who travels alone.” 

4. “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” 

5. “I always prefer to believe the best of everybody; it saves so much trouble”

BLOG_Kipling_Just So Stories

6. “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” 

7“We’re all islands shouting lies to each other across seas of misunderstanding.” 

8. “Take everything you like seriously, except yourselves.” 

9. “We have forty million reasons for failure, but not a single excuse.” 

10“This is a brief life, but in its brevity it offers us some splendid moments, some meaningful adventures.” (Kim)

Have you read any of Rudyard Kipling’s stories? What is/are your favourite?

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Ciao for now