Payment Methods Accepted
About This Item
Review this book and you'll be entered for a chance to win $50!
(Log-in or create an account first!)
Rudyard Kipling was no Franz Kafka. By contrast with the Prague writer, Kipling's narrative genius did not consist in making up characters whole cloth from a vivid imagination. Kipling's men and boys in KIM, THE JUNGLE BOOKS, MULVANEY STORIES and other narratives were based on living three-dimensional people whom he had met, interacted with or whose real-life stories others had told him. Academic and literary careers have been built on tracing Kipling's "originals." One way to look at Kipling's fiction: there is always a lot more Rudyard in it than you might suspect. *** STALKY & CO (1899) is a hugely successful fictional re-creation of Rudyard Kipling's half dozen years as a boarder at the United Services College on the seacoast of North Devon at Westward Ho! In the novel, Kipling is "Beetle," a disheveled, near-sighted poet, editor of the school newspaper, one of three inseparables which includes Irish aristocrat M'Turk and team leader Stalky. The 1899 edition has nine chapters. Down the years Kipling would write more of their adventures. We focus on Stalky, M'Turk and Beetle in their last two years of school, when they are 15 and 16 years old. *** United Services College was an almost brand new prep school whose students were mainly born abroad of parents serving Queen Victoria's Empire, especially in India and Burma. Most of them were being prepared to become Subalterns in the army. ***The three boys are all destined for eccentric greatness when they grow up. They betray signs of this early on. We readers are shown them as deliberate "outsiders" who go their own way (within limits prescribed by loyalty to the school and to the school's beloved Head -- in real life an old school chum of Kipling's family). *** The three boys are indulged and their good qualities much appreciated by the Head and by the school's congenial Chaplain, while thoroughly disapproved of by the four rigorously traditional Housemasters. Nor are the three entirely approved of by their fellow students. *** A constant theme of STALKY & CO is revenge. If wronged, the three will find an appropriate punishment to fit the crime. Thus M'Turk makes friends with a local Irish landowner and receives permission to wander on his estate. Ostensibly this going off campus violates school rules and a house master trespasses in pursuit of them and is punished by the landowner for his sins. And on and on. *** In a reunion of Old Boys 15 years after graduation, the tale is told of Stalky leading his beloved Sikhs out on the northwest frontier of the Indian Raj. He is besieged by two tribes that normally hate one another. While out on a solitary patrol, Stalky employs on a hostile corpse a form of mutilation characteristic of the other tribe. This was the same carving on a chest after tribesmen had killed Stalky's deputy officer. The ploy saved the besieged. What a book! -OOO-
Terms of Sale
Oswestry Market Books
Guarantee, with full refund including original shipping costs, for up to 7 days after delivery if an item arrives misdescribed or damaged.
About the Seller
About Oswestry Market Books
Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:
- Very Good condition can describe a used book that does show some small signs of wear - but no tears - on either binding or...[more]