This is the Penguin English Library Edition of Kim by Rudyard Kipling. 'He knew the wonderful walled city of Lahore from the Delhi Gate to the outer Fort Ditch; was hand in glove with men who led lives stranger than anything Haroun al Raschid dreamed of; and he lived in a life wild as that of the Arabian Nights...' Kipling's epic rendition of the imperial experience in India is also his greatest long work. Two men - Kim, a boy growing into early manhood, and the lama, an old ascetic priest - are fired by a quest. Kim is white, although born in India. While he wants to play the Great Game of imperialism, he is also spiritually bound to the lama and he tries to reconcile these opposing strands. A celebration of their friendship in an often hostile environment, Kim captures the opulence of India's exotic landscape, overlaid by the uneasy presence of the British Raj. The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
Born in Mumbai (then Bombay) in 1865, Rudyard Kipling was taken to England in 1871 and lived for five years with an abusive foster-family in Southsea before going to the United Services College in Devon. He returned to India in 1882 to work as a reporter, and the many poems, sketches and stories he wrote during his time there brought him great literary acclaim. Kipling married Caroline Balestier and moved temporarily to Vermont where he wrote the two Jungle Books. They and their three children travelled extensively, particularly in South Africa, and Kipling became a fierce proponent of the Boer War. Identifying from the outset with the rulers and officials of the British Empire, Kipling nonetheless refused a knighthood, British Poet Laureateship and Order of Merit. He won the Nobel Prize in 1907, six years after publication of Kim, his masterpiece. After the death of his son John at the Battle of Loos in 1915 he became involved in the War Graves Commission. Kipling died in 1936, at the age of seventy.