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Kipling and Trix Paperback – 31 Oct 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Aurora Metro Publications (31 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906582343
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906582340
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 815,859 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Hamer's book opens up the complex world of the Kiplings, moving between continents and momentous world events. --The Daily Mail

It's an unexpectedly exciting read, and a deserved winner of the Virginia Prize for Fiction. Kipling's life is a fascinating one, and Hamer provides a richly-detailed portrait of it. --Neon Magazine

Had Kipling & Trix merely focused on Rudyard it would've been an interesting book...but expanding the focus to look at Trix and how her talent was purposely stunted, eventually driving her to madness, is what makes this book truly engaging. The Writes of Woman blog

About the Author

Mary Hamer travels widely and has lectured in many countries. Her work has appeared in The Economist, The Guardian and The Independent. She has contributed to television and radio programmes, such as BBC s Women s Hour and Night Waves. Mary began her career teaching at Cambridge University but soon found that research was her real passion. Ever since Rudyard Kipling lit her imagination as a child, Mary had wanted to write about him. Later, she realised that the story of his sister, Trix, was just as compelling. She set out to research the facts in libraries and archives. But it was visiting the places where they lived, from Mumbai to Cape Town, that brought them closer to her. In Naulakha, the house Kipling built in Vermont, Mary slept in his bedroom and soaked in his own bath. For the intimate story shehad to tell, she decided it had to be fiction. Kipling & Trix is her fifth book and first novel. See http://tinyurl.com/obuus6n for an interview with Mary Hamer on Canadian radio.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book, and it isn't necessary to have any knowledge of Rudyard Kipling's literary output, or of his role in public life, in order to enjoy it (though I guess it will inspire some new readers to try him and old readers to take another look.) It works on many levels. It is the story of two fascinating people - three if one includes Kipling's American wife Carrie - which engages imaginatively with the inner lives of all its principal characters. It is about the lasting emotional effects of early experience, and about sibling relationships. It includes complex, convincing portraits of marriages (those of Rud, Trix, and their parents) and deals with the extraordinary ways in which every family, then as now, finds its own way of functioning, accommodating problems and disasters. The story itself is compellingly told, and though it's clearly underpinned by a prodigious amount of research, as well as a deep knowledge of all Kipling's writings, this never threatens to interrupt the narrative flow. The vivid account of the siblings' childhood and their early exile from their Indian home is almost unbearably sad, and the consequences of their upbringing are conveyed with subtlety and insight. The book also depicts the shocking inequality of a world before feminism in which the intelligence, imagination and literary ability of Rudyard's clever sister Trix were constantly disregarded, with disturbing results. As the story moves around the world from India to England, America and South Africa, external events (the Boer War, the First World War), along with personal tragedy for the Kiplings, lead to a moving conclusion. It's a long time since I have read a first novel with such pleasure, and I'm not surprised that it won a literary award. It would be an excellent choice for a book club: it's one of those books which lives on in one's mind after the final page is turned.
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Format: Paperback
In Rudyard Kipling's mainly autobiographical short story, "Baa Baa, Back Sheep", a younger sister is favoured over her brother by the foster mother with whom the children are abandoned by their parents when they return to their home India after a visit back to England. Mary Hamer's fictional study of Kipling and his sister Alice ("Trix") makes it clear that both these talented children were damaged by their stay in the "House of Desolation". However, Kipling was able to channel his trauma into his work as a professional writer, whereas Trix, whose written works Rudyard appreciated and encouraged, achieved no such career but married a dull and dedicated non reader of fiction and succumbed to a series of mental and emotional breakdowns. Many biographical studies concentrate on the relationship between parents and children. Sensitive and well-informed studies comparing the lives of siblings are much rarer, and this book is an exemplar of the benefits such an approach. And, in choosing fiction over biography, Mary Hamer has allowed herself the imaginative freedom to succeed in her stated aim of "making emotional sense of these lives".
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mary Hamer has made an inspired choice here, to write of the life and relationships of Alice, Rudyard Kipling's sister, known to her family as 'Trix'.

Kipling's 'If . . . ' remains one of the nation's favourite poems and its author was in his day a National Treasure, being offered both a knighthood and the Poet Laureatship. He turned down both although he accepted the Nobel Prize in Literature. But what happened to his sister?

In 'Kipling and Trix' Mary Hamer gives us the answer. It is a riveting story which she presents as a novel so allowing for the creation of convincing dialogue and insights into the thought processes of both Kipling and his talented but troubled sibling.

We are shown that Trix shared all Kipling's formative childhood experiences, from idyllic times in India to trauma in Southsea where the children were placed as boarders with a totally unsuitable family. Like Kipling, she too wrote. Also she was witty and beautiful, attractive enough to win two offers of marriage from Lord Clanboye, son of the Viceroy. What reduced this talented and vibrant girl to a woman who literally tore out her own hair leaving 'blood trickling onto her forehead'?

If you read 'Kipling and Trix' you find out.
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Format: Paperback
I absolutely loved this book, despite not being someone who has any particular interest in Kipling. What unfolded was a fascinating, moving and very well-written story of the lives of Kipling and his sister, Trix. Taking us through a diverse range of settings (including India, England, the USA, South Africa), each one beautifully evoked, it also takes us deeply into their emotional lives and the challenges they faced, and the shifting dynamic of their relationship faced as they got older and their lives went off in different directions . The writing moved me to tears on more than one occasion. It's also a great insight into the inner life of a writer, and a great period piece. Highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a fictional account of the lives of Rudyard Kipling and his sister Trix, focussing on their close relationship and their love for writing.
The narrative flows along comfortably in a prose that is pleasant and engaging to read. Occasionally the plot seems a little rushed, in that significant events are covered in a few spare lines and then events move on with a rather unseemly haste, while other episodes in the lives of the family are covered in almost forensic detail.
Having spent their earliest years in British colonial India, both Rudyard (known as Ruddy in his family) and Trix were sent to live with a martinet carer in Southsea in England – an experience that Kipling particularly hated and deeply affected his personality. Both siblings wrote from an early age and on their return to India, Kipling started writing and publishing his poems and stories, and Trix also had fiction published. Despite these literary successes, both Kipling siblings met severe challenges in their adult life – bereavement and illness for Rudyard and mental health issues for Trix, who became infatuated with the new fad of spirit writing.
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