I've always loved Kipling. Always. Starting with the Just So Stories- which were read to me before I could read them myself- right through to the very difficult late short stories. I don't share his politics, but I reckon I understand them- and see how they might be accounted virtuous. He was a great writer; also a very good man- loyal, stoic, loving.
My granny was at Batemans during the First World War- with the Land Army- posted there to look after the cows. She was the person- more than any other- who turned me on to him.
I've been to Batemans several times. It's always a bit like coming home. The house was gifted to the National Trust by Kipling's surviving daughter- Elsie- along with all the furnishings and knick-knacks. Everything is just as Rud and Carrie left it in the 1930s- only tidier.
P.S. You know the alphabet necklace from How The Alphabet Was Made? Well, it actually exists- and can be viewed in a glass case at Batemans. I suppose Kipling must have made it himself- perhaps with a little help from the numerous artsists and craftspeople in his family. It's a lovely, ingenious thing.