Rudyard Kipling’s tales of Mowgli are not for children only. They have shaped the English language and the British (and American) psyche. The stories that concern Mowgli’s adventures have been collected, placed in their internal chronological order, and annotated in this volume by the historians GMW Wemyss – author of The Confidence of the House: May 1940 – and Markham Shaw Pyle, author of ‘Fools, Drunks, and the United States’: August 12, 1941. Prefatory essays and over three hundred footnotes accompany the text, delving into history, geography, ethnology, Imperial politics, and much else beside. If you wish to enjoy these tales with deeper understanding; if you wonder what Buldeo has to do with Mr Sherlock Holmes’ antagonist Dr Roylott; if you have ever wondered just why a Gond hunter reminds you of the frontman of Jethro Tull; or if you simply want a cracking good read of stories you but half-remember: here is your book.
About the Author
Rudyard Kipling (1865 – 1936), that scion and poet of Empire – and a man and a writer much more complicated than that suggests – and Nobelist for Literature, was born in Mumbai and never ceased to regard India as his true mother-country; his 1894 and 1895 tales of Mowgli and Bagheera, Baloo, Akela, and Kaa, have made it a heart’s country for generations of children who have never seen India. The editors and annotators of Kipling’s, as of Kenneth Grahame’s classic tales, Markham Shaw Pyle and GMW Wemyss, the partners in Bapton Books, are the co-authors of a celebrated centenary history of the Titanic enquiries in the US and the UK, and editors and annotators of all of Kipling’s Mowgli stories in one volume and of Grahame’s tales of River Bank and the Wild Wood. Mr Pyle is the historian of how, four months before Pearl Harbor, the US Congress kept the draft by one vote. Mr Wemyss is the historian of the May 1940 debate in the House of Commons that ended by casting down Chamberlain’s government and installing Churchill as prime minister – one day before Hitler invaded France. Together, they are the co-authors of other works of criticism and essays on rural pursuits and literature, and of the forthcoming (Christmas 2012) history of that year of portent, 1937. Mr Wemyss lives in Wilts; Mr Pyle, in Texas.