An Icon Of Empire

the Long Recessional — David Gilmour

Another book about Rudyard Kipling — nearly 50 are listed in the bibliography of The Long Recessional (John Murray; 351 pages) — needs to be exceptional to succeed. The first biography of this icon of the British Empire was published in 1900 when Kipling was 34. Ever since, a steady stream of books covering every aspect of his work and life has sustained interest in a writer who is said to have added more phrases to the English language than any man since Shakespeare.

By focusing on the political aspects of Kipling's career — in particular, his role as imperial...

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