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Kim’s life takes a curious twist when he meets a holy man, a lama, who is about to embark on a very mysterious quest: a pilgrimage that will take him across the vast continent, across rivers and up the Himalayas. He wants Kim to accompany him.
An epic rendition of the imperial experience in India, and perhaps his greatest long work, the Penguin Classics edition of Rudyard Kipling’s Kim is edited with an introduction by Harish Trivedi, and includes a general preface by Jan Montefiore.
Kim, orphaned son of an Irish soldier and a poor white mother, and the lama, an old ascetic priest, are on a quest. Kim was born and raised in India and plays with the slum children as he lives on the streets, but he is white, a sahib, and wants to play the Great Game of Imperialism; while the priest must find redemption from the Wheel of Things. Kim celebrates their friendship and their journeys in a beautiful but hostile environment, capturing the opulence of the exotic landscape and the uneasy presence of the British Raj. Filled with rich description and vivid characters, this beguiling coming of age story is considered to be Kipling’s masterpiece.
Part of a series of new editions of Kipling’s works in Penguin Classics, this volume contains a General Preface by Jan Montefiore and an introduction by Harish Trivedi placing the novel in its literary and social context.
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was born in Bombay. In 1882 he started work as a journalist in India, and while there produced a body of work, stories, sketches and poems – notably Plain Tales from the Hills (1888) – which made him an instant literary celebrity when he returned to England in 1889. His most famous works include The Jungle Book (1894), Kim (1901) and the Just So Stories (1902). Kipling refused to accept the role of Poet Laureate and other civil honours, but he was the first English writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize, in 1907.
If you enjoyed Kim, you might like E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India, also available in Penguin Classics.
‘Kipling’s last work is … his best, and not easily comparable with the work of any other man’
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