Timeline Description: Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936) was a British author best known for writing The Jungle Book and "Gunga Din." His time in India, England, and America provided fodder for his literary work, and his books often celebrated British imperialism. At one point he was the highest-paid writer in the world, and he received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907. He is considered one of England's great writers.
|December 30, 1865||Rudyard Kipling is born.
Joseph Rudyard Kipling is born on December 30, 1865 in Bombay (now Mumbai), India. His parents are new arrivals in India, hoping to help the British raj. His father, John, heads the Department of Architectural Sculpture at the Jeejeebhoy School of Art in Bombay. Rudyard grows particularly close to his mother, Alice. He and his younger sister, also named Alice, enjoy exploring Bombay with their nanny.
|October 1871||Kipling is sent to school in Southsea, England.
Alice Kipling wants her son to receive a formal British education, so she sends Rudyard and Alice to Southsea, England, when Rudyard is 6. There they attend school and live with a foster family, the Holloways. Mrs. Holloway bullies Kipling, who finds solace in reading Daniel Defoe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Wilkie Collins.
|April 1877||Kipling's mother removes him from the Holloways' home.
A visitor notices that Kipling is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, due to his mistreatment, and tells Alice Kipling, who rushes to England. She removes him from the Holloways' home in April 1877 and takes him on an extended vacation. Kipling later recounts the terrible time at the Holloways' in the 1888 story "Baa Baa, Black Sheep."
|January 1878||Kipling enrolls at the United Services College.
After recovering from his traumatic experience, Kipling enrolls at the United Services College at Westward Ho, north Devon, in January 1878. The school is meant to prepare boys to enter the British army, and while Kipling struggles to fit in, he later develops firm friendships with several boys. He also discovers and nurtures his talent for writing, becoming the editor of the school newspaper.
|October 18, 1882||Kipling returns to India.
Without the financial or academic means to gain a place at Oxford University, Kipling returns to India on October 18, 1882. As soon as he arrives, he is overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of India, and later says that he never feels truly English again. He lives with his parents in Lahore and works at the Civil and Military Gazette.
|1886||Kipling publishes his first collection of verse.
In 1886, Kipling publishes his first collection of verse, Departmental Ditties. This publication launches his literary career, although he later becomes best known for his short stories.
|1888||Kipling publishes six collections of short stories.
In 1888, Kipling publishes six collections of short stories, including Plain Tales from the Hills and Soldiers Three. These stories earn him a popular following, as they are sold in cheap, easily accessed editions sold in railway terminals. In 1889 he sells the rights to these stories and uses the money to travel to England.
|October 1889||Kipling returns to England to literary acclaim.
In October 1889, seven years after his departure, Kipling returns to England, where he makes his debut to literary acclaim. In London, he meets the American agent and publisher Wolcott Balestier, who becomes one of Kipling's closest friends and supporters. Despite suffering from ill health, Kipling publishes a novel and another short story collection while living in England.
|January 18, 1892||Kipling marries Carrie Balestier.
Wolcott Balestier dies suddenly of typhoid fever in 1891, and Kipling rushes back to England from a sea voyage. En route he proposes via telegram to Balestier's sister, Caroline (known as Carrie), who accepts. The couple is married on January 18, 1892 at a small ceremony attended by the writer Henry James. They later have three children.
|1894||Kipling publishes The Jungle Book.
The Kiplings settle in Brattleboro, Vermont, where most of Carrie's family lives. During their time in America, Kipling's literary life flourishes, and in 1894 he publishes The Jungle Book, which eventually becomes one of his most famous works. This and other works for children soon make Kipling the highest-paid writer in the world.
|March 6, 1899||Kipling's daughter Josephine dies.
In the winter of 1899, Carrie persuades Rudyard to travel to New York to visit her family. The entire Kipling family falls ill with pneumonia during the journey, and their daughter Josephine eventually dies on March 6, 1899. Kipling never fully recovers from her death, and he vows never to return to America.
|1902||Kipling publishes Just So Stories.
After Josephine's death, the family purchases a home in Sussex, England, and Kipling devotes himself to his writing. In 1902 he publishes Just So Stories, a collection of tales he originally told Josephine as he put her to bed. The collection is greeted with wide critical acclaim.
|December 10, 1907||Kipling receives the Nobel Prize for Literature.
On December 10, 1907, Kipling becomes the first Englishman to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. The presentation speech remarks on his keen observational eye and ability to sketch characters with a few well-chosen lines.
|September 27, 1915||Kipling's son John dies in World War I.
A staunch advocate of World War I, Kipling actively encourages his son, John, to join the fight. John dies in the Battle of Loos on September 27, 1915, and this news devastates Kipling and his wife. After mourning the loss of his son, Kipling continues to write, but never returns to the cheerful children's stories that made him so famous.
|January 18, 1936||Kipling dies.
After suffering from a painful ulcer for several years, Kipling dies on January 18, 1936. His ashes are buried in Westminster Abbey in Poets' Corner, next to the graves of Thomas Hardy and Charles Dickens.