Rudyard Kipling was an English author and poet, born in Bombay, India, and is best known for The Jungle Book series and is regarded as a major “innovator in the art of the short story”; his children’s books are enduring classics of children’s literature. Kipling was one of the most popular writers in English, in both prose and verse, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1907, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, making him the first English language writer to receive the prize, and he remains its youngest-ever recipient.
However, later in life Kipling also came to be seen (in George Orwell’s words) as a “prophet of British imperialism.” Many saw prejudice and militarism in his works, and the resulting controversy about him continued for much of the 20th century. According to critic Douglas Kerr: “He is still an author who can inspire passionate disagreement and his place in literary and cultural history is far from settled. But as the age of the European empires recedes, he is recognized as an incomparable, if controversial, interpreter of how empire was experienced. That, and an increasing recognition of his extraordinary narrative gifts, make him a force to be reckoned with.”
Kipling kept writing until the early 1930s and died of a brain haemorrhage in January of 1936 at the age of 70.