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Tony Grist

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The Long Recessional, The Imperial Life Of Rudyard Kipling: David Gilmour [Mar. 25th, 2015|11:33 am]
Tony Grist
In art he practised the virtues of restraint and showed wide human sympathies, in politics he was immoderate and narrow. The story of Kipling's political life is distressing- not so much for his affiliations and views- which are defensible if generally on the wrong side of history- as for the venom and hysteria with which he pursued them- as revealed here through his private correspondence. He was- as he said of Bonar Law, one of the few politicians he admired, "a good hater".

I don't suppose I'll forget the contents of this book, but I'd like to.
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Comments:
From: cmcmck
2015-03-25 11:47 am (UTC)
Yet I read of his desperate search for his only son who went missing in action in WW1 recently and got a completely different side of the man- it was heartbreaking.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2015-03-25 11:53 am (UTC)
Have you seen My Boy Jack- the film about the death of his son? It's very well done.
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From: cmcmck
2015-03-25 11:55 am (UTC)
No, but I have read the original book on which it is based. Didn't Daniel Radcliffe play Jack Kipling?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2015-03-25 01:13 pm (UTC)
He did- with David Haig as Rud.
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[User Picture]From: ideealisme
2015-03-25 10:05 pm (UTC)
He wrote about the whole battalion his son was in and had an exhaustive of the battle where he went missing. It was one of my sources for a particular scene in the novel!
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2015-03-25 07:06 pm (UTC)
I'm reminded, reading this, of something in Humphrey Carpenter's biography of J. R. R. Tolkien. Apparently Tolkien only wrote in his journal when he was unhappy and/or despairing. Carpenter remarked that if all we had of Tolkien was his journals, we'd think he spent his entire life tormented by the black dog (my words, not his, but you get the idea). Whereas he could be writing O woe is me and all is fetid. Then a friend would drop by, and he'd grab his hat, head for the pub, and have a whale of a good time. And the journal would lie forgotten until the next time he felt miserable.

I wonder if Kipling only wrote to certain people when he was feeling politically ranty.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2015-03-25 07:53 pm (UTC)
I'm sure that's true. Gilmour is writing a political biography- and the ranty letters loom large- but he admits that Kipling also spent a lot of time messing about on his farm and travelling and playing with his own and other people's children and, of course, writing plenty of stories and poems that have little if any political content.
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