This unfinished autobiography by Rudyard Kipling offers a glimpse into the author’s early life, and some of the periods he spent working on his most famous books and poems.
Little of this autobiography refers to the private life of the author, his purpose instead being to shed light on the creative inspirations which he saw and which inspired Kipling’s celebrated literary works. However, Kipling does mention early recollections, such as how as a child in Southsea he was introduced to the ideas of adventurous travel by his father. A bookish person by nature, Kipling also remembers the stories he enjoyed in these formative years.
Once the narrative reaches his young adulthood, Kipling reminisces on the appearance and atmosphere of far-flung locales in which he lived and travelled. Life in colonial India and South Africa is described in detail; the duties Kipling had and times spent with the garrison soldiers and others at the British Club, the culture of the locals and everyday life in the villages and towns. As such, we gain an impression of the life which inspired acclaimed works such as the Jungle Book, and Kipling’s characteristic verses that remain well-recognized in the modern day.