“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same….”
From If- 1895
Joseph Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)
Best known hereabouts for his 1897 novel Captains Courageous, Kipling was the quintessential apologist and proponent of British imperialism. He was born in Mumbai, then called Bombay, to English parents, and became famous for his poems and short stories set in India, (Gunga Din, The Jungle Book, etc). Henry James referred to him as a man of “complete genius.” He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1907, the youngest recipient of that honor. He and his young family lived in Brattleboro, Vermont from 1892 to 1896, and it was during this period that he visited Gloucester to write about fishing from the dory schooners. Kipling’s unquestioning support of the Empire was cooled by the death of his son in the First World War. He continued to write, but with less success, until his own death in 1936.