Rudyard Kipling to have a museum

The BBC have an article about the house that Rudyard Kipling was born in being turned into a museum. It is also hoped to have a museum to his father, John Lockwood Kipling, who is well known in art and architectural circles for his contributions.

Kipling is one of those odd writers, so in tune and out of tune with his own times at the same point. His views regarding colonialism, Empire, the natural Law, patriarchy are strident yet if you look at the actual writing, a different character begins to emerge shyly. Take for example the City of Dreadful Night (collected in the fantastic Mark of the Beast and other Fantastical tales (Amazon))to see how lovingly he describes the city in a close high summer with sickness cloying at it. The collection is well worth time reading for its virtuoso moves from genre to genre.

There does seem to be an attempt to reintroduce Kipling as a writer rather than as colonialist and jingoist and I think its a good thing. To paraphrase Neil Gaiman in the introduction, his politics are not my politics but as readers and writers surely we owe it to ourselves to read writers whose views may challenge us and also for their writing.

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