Saturday, 12 January 2008

Kipling

You know how it is when you see a magazine in the newsagents and it speaks to you? You don't normally buy that magazine (well, only occasionally) but somehow you just have to have it? This month's 'Book and Magazine Collector' was one such. It has a picture of Rudyard Kipling on the front, which shouldn't have been all that significant but having watched the TV drama, My Boy Jack, very recently, it was. Kipling is an author I've read bits of... Puck of Pook's Hill and its sequel, the Just So stories, various other supernatural short stories and poems (I don't know a lot about poetry but have always loved, 'The Glory of the Garden' and 'The Way Through the Woods') and I'm currently reading Kim for the What's In a Name? challenge. So, his writing is not completely unknown to me.

To digress for a second, coming to the end of 2007 I felt that, yes, it had been a very good reading year but that something was missing - and that was that I hadn't learnt an awful lot. Partly, I hadn't read enough non-fiction, but not just that, there was no one author I'd covered well, not just his or her fictional writing but their non-fiction writing as well and books *about* them - their lives, in other words. This is a new experience for me, I've never been particularly bothered by this before but suddenly I am. And when I saw that magazine something went 'click'. Kipling - I should find out about Kipling. So, I'm going to. That magazine will be a start and there's loads online that I discovered just by Googling his name. To tell the truth this may take me nowhere and I may get bored within a few weeks. On the other hand I might not and I may get to the end of 2008 and be very pleased that I took the trouble to find out about just one author and learn *something*.

So anyway, here's a 'recent acquisitions' photo, with the offending magazine in the middle. (Actually, there's a lot of interest in there this month, including an article on the Victorian children's books of L.T. Meade and one about The Northwest Passage.) A book of Kipling's short stories was a good find from one of those cheapy book shops and also from there, three from a newish range of ghost story antholgies by Wordsworth Editions. Brilliant covers on these, really atmospheric. And last but not least The Warden by Anthony Trollope has arrived at last and will be my first foray into that author's writing. You never know, perhaps I'll feel tempted to find out about him too. :-)

7 comments:

monix said...

I hope you'll enjoy looking at one author in depth. If you get hooked on Trollope (and I'm sure you will) that could lead to a lifetime study as he was such a prolific writer. I look forward to hearing how it goes.

Cath said...

I'm planning to read The Warden in February and have a suspicion that I'm going to like it very much. I also have a book of his travel writings that I'd like to read this year too. Inside that it says that he wrote 47 novels! Heavens above. Well, I like a challenge...

monix said...

Well I'm sure you won't be able to stop at The Warden! You'll just have to read the rest of the Barchester Chronicles and then ...... I don't know anyone who has read all 45 of his books, though; perhaps you can be the first.

Cath said...

I'm pretty sure I will want to read the rest of the Barchester Chronicles but am not so certain about The Pallisers. I also have The Small House at Allington on the tbr mountain but am not sure if that's part of the Barchester Chronicles. I must search out a website and get some solid information obviously. I started the book of his travel writings in bed last night and soon found myself chortling away. I didn't realise Trollope was that *funny*.

I could be the first to read all 45 novels couldn't I? Or not.

Nan - said...

I have a feeling, and it is just a feeling, that maybe he is on the verge of a reassessment. I've found myself in the last four years or so thinking a lot about him. You may have read the If poem on my blog a while back. I love it. The emergence of interest on my own part, I think began with reading M.M. Kaye's three book autobiography. I fell in love with India, and wanted to know more about Kipling. By the way, as you read along in the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes books, you will come upon The Game, which features Kim, as a real person. I could easily devote lots of reading time to this man to find out more. I am so interested in the fact that you and I have these same two passions right now, of Kipling and Trollope. I have a Kipling book I could send to you to borrow if you'd like. It is about the time he spent in Vermont, the state next to mine. I won't be reading it this year, so you could keep it a long time. :<)

Cath said...

Nan, I think that Kipling might be about to come back into fashion too. I hope so and the dramatisation of My Boy Jack might indicate that it is so. I was so touched by that drama - I do hope you get to see it in the USA before too long.

I'm halfway through the magazine article and have just read that he married an American girl and moved to Vermont. Their daughter, Josephine, was born there apparently. I assume this is Jack's sister, played by Carey Mulligan, in the drama. Funny how things all fit together. Yes please, I would absolutely love to borrow the book you have on his time in Vermont. You'll need my address so I'll check to see if your e.mail address is on your blog.

How amazing that one of the Mary Russell books features Kim as a real person! I shall especially look forward to reading that one.

I must get back to the M.M. Kaye autobiographies soon. I read the first one years ago and was charmed by it but she hadn't written any more then and I gradually forgot about them. Thinking about it, that's probably what started my interest in India too.

I've just started a book of Trollope's travel writing as bedtime reading. You and I are in for a treat when we read The Warden I think... he's so amusing!

Nan - said...

Cath, if you post a comment on my blog with your email address, I will jot it down, and then delete the comment. Because I moderate my comments, it won't be shown on the blog at all. I'm tickled that you want to borrow it.