Buy Used
£0.01
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Ships from the UK. Former Library books. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Your purchase also supports literacy charities.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Kipling Sahib: India and the Making of Rudyard Kipling 1865-1900 Hardcover – 1 Nov 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£17.20 £0.01

Man Booker International Prize 2017
A Horse Walks Into a Bar has won the Man Booker International Prize 2017. Learn more
click to open popover

Special offers and product promotions


Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.



Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown & Company; Reprint edition (1 Nov. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316726559
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316726559
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 24.2 x 4.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 630,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

Product description

Review

'A delightful evocation of late 19th century India and an acute study of Kipling's genius: utterly absorbing.'
-- Spectator

'Allen has done his subject proud with a biography of great sensitivity, insight and rare charm' -- MAIL ON SUNDAY

'Allen's KIPLING SAHIB is an excellent, immensely readable, strikingly illustrated introduction to this lost complexity' -- INDEPENDENT

'Allen's Kipling is certainly engaging - complex, truculent, rash and frank to the point of social suicide . . . excellent' -- SUNDAY TIMES

'Charles Allen's book ... should help to restore [Kipling] to his rightful place in the literary pantheon' -- LITERARY REVIEW

'[Allen provides] a wealth of background detail all the stronger for the author having himself spent an Anglo-Indian childhood'
-- OLDIE

'[KIPLING SAHIB] extends our knowledge, and deepens our undertanding, of the greatest English writer of his generation' -- Allan Massie, TELEGRAPH

'delicious detail and an unfailing command of [the] material' -- Ferdinand Mount, SPECTATOR

[A] compelling portrait of Kipling set against the background of India... a vibrant picture of the white and brown worlds explored and mapped by his inky, balding, bespectacled, moustached and fiercely cleft-chinned hero.
-- The Literary Review

`KIPLING SAHIB is the best book on its subject, and on British India, for years'
-- SUNDAY HERALD

Book Description

A long overdue reassessment of Kipling in India by a leading historian of the subcontinent, author of PLAIN TALES FROM THE RAJ and SOLDIER SAHIBS --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

See all Product description

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Charles Allen has produced a superb biography covering the first thirty-five years of Kipling's life. The book concentrates on Kipling's relationship with India, which Allen convincingly argues sustained most of his best work.

Today Kipling can appear an austere figure, a handle-bar moustached Imperialist advocate, with ideas on race beyond the pale of polite society. But Allen shows the young Kipling ("Ruddy") to be so much more interesting and sympathetic than the stereotype suggests.

Allen is excellent on Ruddy's early life in Bombay, his unloved years in Southsea away from his parents, his return to India and work there as a journalist, his development as a writer and return to England to become a literary superstar.

Ruddy trod new ground among writers: for example, he was the first to give a voice to the men rather than the officers in the British army. In India he talked to everyone: from Vieroys to the most downtrodden and his empathy for misfits, outsiders and slackers gave his fiction its wondrous colour and detail.

For me the most surprising elements of Kipling's life include his nocturnal explorings of native India, his visits to Lahore courtesans, his experiences with opium and his depressions. The older Kipling did much to obscure Ruddy's antics from future generations. But Allen is superb at uncovering Ruddy's secrets and they make him so much more of a sympathetic and modern man than I had previously believed.

I have not read any of Kipling's prose since my teenage years when I struggled through the Second Jungle Book. But this book has re-awakened my interest and I shall shortly be reading Kim, which Allen considers Kipling's masterpiece.

Read this book if you are interested in learning more about what made Kipling tick, whether you have got into his works yet or not. Also read this book if you are interested in the Raj. Allen makes this far-away world come alive.
Comment 41 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a must-read for all Kipling lovers and also for those who aren't quite sure whether or not they should be approving of him. Kipling is a huge favourite of mine. Like me, he was born in Bombay, India. Like me, he was christened in St Thomas' Cathedral, Bombay. Like me, he loved India. I still love India. He was happiest in the years he spent in India, especially in Bombay. He made it his business to get to know local people, so those who accuse him of jingoistic prejudice couldn't be more wrong. Brought back to England by his parents when he and his sister were only children, his life in this country - in the hands of two people who today would be imprisoned for child abuse - was a misery he only just survived. This book has added volumes to my affection for this writer whose books - expecially The Jungle Book - I used to take on holiday with me, as a child, to Matheran, in the Western Ghats. To me, the Bandar Log (monkey people) were real - the Kala Mous (blackfaced langurs) used to come whooping through our garden to steal the mangoes and at night we heard the villagers in the valleys around our bungalow beating drums to scare off Bagheera who roamed the jungle at night looking for unwary dogs to snatch. We had to watch out for Kaa who would lie across our pathway to bask in the sun and Rikki Tikki Tavi, the mongoose, well he is every bit the hero now that he was then and I have read his story to Year 6 youngsters who have been spellbound by it. Please read this wonderful book and have your understanding of "Ruddy" enriched as mine has been. And then, visit Bateman's in Burwash, East Sussex, where he lived with his wife, Carrie, and their family.
Comment 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
very happy well written & very accurate
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Loved this book. First 80 pages a bit plodding then, as Kipling really starts to explore both native and British India, you do too. His nighttime prowls on the streets of Lahore and cutting parodies of British hill station society are wonderful.

A fascinating character, unfashionable for partly justifiable reasons - yes, he was a reactionary; you can't revise that away - but also a complicated, interesting man who had real affinity for aspects of Indian culture.

Can't wait to start reading the early stories...
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Kipling Sahib, a book by Charles Allen is a great read.

As one who lived in British India over 60 years ago, I found this book to be absolutely fascinating and would recommend it to anyone with an interest in India.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
As a nutritional anthropolgist and writer Deadly Harvest: The Intimate Relationship Between Our Health and Our Food, I have a professional interest in the local color in India back in Victorian times. In this book I was not disappointed.

I had no idea Kipling was such a precocious, bumptious and opinionated young man. How he matured so young! And of course that terrible time in the Southsea foster home. He was also quite a lad, seemingly with all kinds of dalliances, especially in Simla. It all goes to explain how he could write a poem like "The Ladies".

Incredible how he developed such a deep understanding of the East. Breaking convention and wandering the streets of the native cities by night and making all kinds of unconventional acquaintances and soaking up novel experiences. That was the local color so wonderfully exemplified by his novel Kim Kim (Penguin Classics), and his Ballad of East and West.

Kipling also did something that no Sahib had done before: talk to the ordinary Tommy in the barracks and absorb all the terrible privations they suffered. That is how he could write a short story like "The Drums of the Fore and the Aft" in The Man Who Would be King: and Other Stories(Oxford World's Classics) and searing poems like Danny Deever Collected Verse of Rudyard Kipling.

Charles Allen only sounds one false note when, seemingly as a a sop to the politically correct, he is unnecessarily apologetic about Kipling and his time. Quite uncalled for! Kipling's works display a wonderful understanding and sympathy for humanity in general. How lucky we are to have his works as an insightful record of the British Raj.
Comment 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews