Book Review-‘Kipling and the Sea: Voyages and discoveries from North Atlantic to South Pacificby’ A. Lycett (ed.)

By Nigle Rigby, published November 2020


Rudyard Kipling is probably best known today as the poet of empire, and more particularly as the poet of British India, through novels and stories like Kim (1901) and The Man Who Would Be King (1888), poems in the vein of ‘Gunga Din’ (published in the 1892 collection, Barrack-Room Ballads) and children’s collections such as The Jungle Book (1894). Kim is arguably his greatest work and one that, aside from its intrinsic merit, has gained a whole new set of meanings in a post-colonial world over the last few decades. This is also true, to a lesser extent, of ‘Gunga Din’, popularly known more for the single line ‘you’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din’ than for the actual poem itself. The Jungle Book and The Man Who Would Be King are superb but are still known in part because they were turned into films. ‘Gunga Din’ was also made into a film, albeit one with a tenuous connection to the poem, and remade as Sergeants 3 in the 1960s, relocated to America and starring Sammy Davis Junior in the title role…

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Filed under: Other (Twentieth C) | Other (Nineteenth C)
Subjects include: Art & Music | Biography

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