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August 22 , 2008

The Man Who Would Be King


According to Wikipedia: ""The Man Who Would Be King" (1888) is a novella by Rudyard Kipling. It is about two British adventurers in British India who become kings of Kafiristan, a remote part of Afghanistan. The story was inspired by the exploits of James Brooke, an Englishman who became the first White Rajah of Sarawak in Borneo; and by the travels of American adventurer Josiah Harlan, who was granted the title Prince of Ghor in perpetuity for himself and his descendants. It incorporates a number of other factual elements such as locating the story in eastern Afghanistan's Kafiristan and the European-like appearance of many of Kafiristan's Nuristani people, and an ending modelled on the return of the head of the explorer Adolf Schlagintweit to colonial administrators.. Joseph Rudyard Kipling (18651936) was an English author and poet. Born in Bombay, British India (now Mumbai), he is best known for his works The Jungle Book (1894) and Rikki-Tikki-Tavi (1902), his novel, Kim (1901); his poems, including Mandalay (1890), Gunga Din (1890), If— (1910); and his many short stories, including The Man Who Would Be King (1888). He is regarded as a major "innovator in the art of the short story"; his children's books are enduring classics of children's literature; and his best works speak to a versatile and luminous narrative gift. Kipling was one of the most popular writers in English, in both prose and verse, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The author Henry James said of him: "Kipling strikes me personally as the most complete man of genius (as distinct from fine intelligence) that I have ever known." In 1907, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, making him the first English language writer to receive the prize, and to date he remains its youngest recipient. Among other honours, he was sounded out for the British Poet Laureateship and on several occasions for a knighthood, all of which he declined."
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