Rudyard Kipling

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Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) [1] was an English journalist, short-story writer, poet, and novelist.

Kipling in South Africa

Kipling visited South Africa annually between 1896 and 1908, as a guest of Cecil John Rhodes, staying in "The Woolsack", a house on Cecil Rhodes's estate at Groote Schuur, within walking distance of Rhodes' mansion.

Kipling was warmly received by some of the influential politicians of the Cape Colony, including Rhodes, Sir Alfred Milner, and Leander Starr Jameson, and Kipling cultivated their friendship and came to admire the men and their politics, becoming a staunch supporter of the British forces in the Second Boer War (1899–1902). Once back in England, Kipling wrote poetry in support of the British cause in the Boer War and on his next visit to South Africa in early 1900, became a correspondent for The Friend newspaper in Bloemfontein for a short time. He also wrote articles published more widely expressing his views on the conflict. An inscription by Kipling appears on the Honoured Dead Memorial (Siege memorial) in Kimberley.

Besides his own writings on his time in the country, he had some influence on the arts as well. For example he persuaded his friend Percy Fitzpatrick to publish his tales of the early days in the Bushveld of the Transvaal as Jock of the Bushveld (1907) and urged the playwright Stephen Black to concentrate on local colour and Cape characters in his plays.


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