Books: The Ruddy Empire

THE LIFE OF RUDYARD KIPLING (433 pp ) -C. E. Carrington -Doubleday ($5.50).

The sun has set on Rudyard Kipling and his British Empire, but there are those less happy about it than, say, Jawaharlal Nehru and the editors of the Nation. Rudyard Kipling was a lowbrow genius, the classic case of a jingo word juggler whose skill brought out the heaviest sneers in the faces of more civilized but not necessarily more talented men.

"Reading life by . . . flashes of vulgarity," said Oscar Wilde of the writer, who, in the midst of...

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