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Dienstag, 27. Juni 2017

William Strang: Etchings illustrating Subjects from the Writings of Rudyard Kipling

William Strang (1859 - 1921): A Scottish etcher, lithographer and painter of portraits, figure studies and allegorical scenes, William Strang came to London in 1875 to study at the Slade School of Art. There he became the chief pupil and artistic heir of Alphonse Legros. By the age of thirty Strang had created over 180 original etchings, including portraits of such famous individuals as Kipling, Rider Haggard, Thomas Hardy, Legros, Seymour Haden and Lawrence Binyon. William Strang was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1906 and a full Academician in 1921.

 William Strang Self-portrait 1895


Frontispiece
Portrait of  Kipling

The Finances of the Gods
A Story from Life's Handicap
The evening meal was ended in Dhunni Bhagat’s Chubara, and the old priests were smoking or counting their beads. A little naked child pattered in, with its mouth wide open, a handful of marigold flowers in one hand, and a lump of conserved tobacco in the other. It tried to kneel and make obeisance to Gobind, but it was so fat that it fell forward on its shaven head, and rolled on its side, kicking and gasping, while the marigolds tumbled one way and the tobacco the other. Gobind laughed, set it up again, and blessed the marigold flowers as he received the tobacco. 

The Mark of the Beast
Fleete, who knows little of India or Indians, gets drunk at the Club on New Year's Eve, and on the way home desecrates a temple of Hanuman the Monkey God, by stubbing out his cigar on the image of the God. A priest, who is a leper, clasps Fleete to him, and bites him on the breast, leaving a livid mark. As another priest says when he leaves, Hanuman has not yet done with him...

 On Greenhow Hill
The story was collected in Mine Own People and Life’s Handicap in 1891. 
The 'Soldiers Three' are out on a hillside in the Himalayas. A deserter from an Indian regiment has been firing on his former comrades and on the 'Ould Regiment', and Ortheris has sworn to shoot him.  

The Mutiny of the Mavericks
First published in the authorized edition of Mine Own People, United States Book Company, New York, March 1891, followed by its inclusion in Life’s Handicap published in the United States and England later in the same year. 
A secret Irish republican organisation, based in America, aims to foment mutiny against the British among Irish soldiers of the British army. They send an agent, Mulcahy, who joins up in the 'Mavericks' and does all he can to stir up feeling against the authorities. The soldiers, who enjoy soldiering, particularly if it involves fighting, recognise Mulcahy for what he is, and have little sympathy for his views. They are deeply loyal to the Regiment and its traditions, and the battle honours inscribed on its Colours. But they realise that he is a plentiful source of beer, and encourage him to think they are with him.
When the news comes that the regiment is off on active service on the frontier, there is a great commotion. Mulcahy thinks that the promised mutiny has come, but finds that the men are overjoyed, and can't wait to get into battle. He tries to report sick, but is sent off nonetheless. It is made clear by his comrades that he is going to his death, at their hands or those of the enemy. He dies fighting. 


Reingelder and the German Flag
First published in the Civil and Military Gazette, 16 April 1889, and collected in Life’s Handicap, 1891.
A fellow naturalist, Reingelder, collecting in Uruguay, is keen to find a speciment of the Coral Snake, which has markings coloured in red black and white, like the German flag. He finds one, and relying on the report of Yates, an authority on the snakes of South America, assumes it is not poisonous. Breitmann advises him not to handle it, but he insists, is bitten, and dies in agony protesting that Yates had lied.
Bertran and Bimi

This story was first published in 1891 in Life’s Handicap, and in the United States in Mine Own People in the same year, where its first title was “Bimi”.


This story was first published in 1891 in Life’s Handicap, and in the United States in Mine Own People in the same year, where its first title was “Bimi”.
This brutal little tale is narrated one night on board ship – in German accented English – by Hans Breitmann. It tells of a French naturalist, Bertran, in the islands of what is now Indonesia. He has a great orang-utang, Bimi, and lives with him as a brother, letting sleep in a room rather than a cage, dining and smoking with him, and walking with him hand in hand.



Without Benefit of Clergy
  the Story was collected in The Courting of Dinah Shadd and Other Stories (1890) and Mine Own People in 1891 and Life’s Handicap the same year.
 John Holden leads a double life. To his colleagues in the civil service he is a bachelor, living in spartan bachelor quarters, and sometimes neglecting his work. But he has set up a young Muslim girl, Ameera, in a little house on the edge of the old city. She is the love of his life, and he of hers. They are idyllically happy together, and when she gives birth to a baby boy, Tota, their happiness is complete. When Tota dies of fever, they are distraught. Then Ameera is stricken with cholera and dies in Holden's arms. He is left desolate, and the house is soon pulled down. The idyll is over as if it had never been.



 The incarnation of Krishna Mulvaney

First published in Macmillan’s Magazine for December 1889, as “Great Krishna Mulvany”, in Harper’s Short Stories in September 1890, and collected in The Courting of Dinah Shadd and other stories in 1890 (USA), Mine Own People in 1891 (USA), and Life’s Handicap in 1891.


The Return of Imray

First published as “The Recrudescene of Imray” in Mine Own People in the United States in 1891 and Life’s Handicap in the same year.
Imray has disappeared, and despite the usual enquiries, there is no trace of him. Three or four months later his bungalow is rented by Strickland of the police and soon after the narrator quarters himself on Strickland. It is a wild night, of drenching rain, and is is hard to get to sleep. During the small hours the narrator senses the presence of a strange figure, trying to convey some urgent message. Strickland's great dog is also disturbed...
 


Moti Guj - the Mutineer
 Moti Guj is a magnificent and powerful elephant, who works clearing forest land for planting coffee. He is owned by a dissipated mahout, Deesa, to whom he is devoted. 

The Judgement of  Dungara
A story in Kiplng's Black and White
Justus Krenk, and his wife, German missionaries, have established themselves in the country of the Buria Kol, a wild shameless people who worship a God called Dungara. They see their mission as to convert the Buria Kol to Christianity, to dress them respectably, and inculcate regular working habits. The local adminstrator, Gallio, is rather sceptical, but allows the missionaries to get on with their work. It is, however, much resented by Athon Dazé , the priest of the Temple of Dungara. 


The miracle of Purun Bhagat
A tale from Kipling's Second Jungle Book
Purun Dass is a high caste Brahmin, highly educated, and a powerful figure as Prime Minister of one of the semi-independent Native States. Then, at the peak of his career, he casts aside all possessions, takes a staff and begging bowl, and becomes a wandering holy man, 'Purun Bhagat', depending on charity to live. At last he comes to the high Himalayas, where his people had come from, and finds a deserted shrine high above a mountain village, where he makes his home. For many years he lives there, fed by the devoted villagers, making friends with the wild creatures round about, monkeys and deer and bear, and pondering on the meaning of existence. 

The Undertakers
Collected in The Second Jungle Book in 1895. 

One night an Adjutant-crane, a jackal, and a huge old man-eating mugger (crocodile) are gossiping on a river bank below a new railway bridge. The mugger reminisces of the villagers he used to catch and devour in the old days, when they had to wade across through a ford, and the time of the 'Indian Mutiny', when many bodies of dead English floated down the stream, so many that they touched each other, and the mugger 'got his girth'. He remembers a boat coming down with a white child in the bows trailing little hands in the water, closing his jaws but missing his hold, and being shot with a revolver by a woman in the boat.

William the Conqueror
There is famine in southern India, and European administrators from all departments of the Government of India are being called in to help deliver relief supplies. From the Punjab come, among others, Scott, an Engineer, and Martyn, a Police officer. Martyn’s sister, William (short for Wilhelmina) who keeps house for him, will not be deterred from accompanying her brother, and short-circuits his protestations by telegraphing to obtain permission to the wife of the head of famine relief, who is herself with her husband.


Bread upon the Waters
McPhee, Chief Engineer of the shipping line of Holdock, Steiner and Chase is sacked, unreasonably, for refusing to force his ship, the Breslau, to make timings she cannot keep. He is proved right when she breaks down, and has to be towed to port. Meanwhile, McPhee has been given the job of Chief Engineer of a smaller ship, belonging to McNaughton and McRimmon.
 

The Man who would be King I
Illustration to Kipling's story We Willie Winkie
The narrator, a journalist, encounters two ruffianly-looking adventurers, Daniel Dravot and Peachey Carnehan, who announce that they are off to Kafiristan in the mountains of Afghanistan to make themselves Kings. Some two years later, on a hot summer's night, Carnehan creeps into his office, a broken man, crippled and in rags, and tells an amazing story. They had indeed made themselves Kings, persuading the local people that they were gods, mustering their army, asserting their power over the local villages, and planning to build a Nation.
 
The Man who would be King II

The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes
The story was collected in Wee Willie Winkie and Other Stories in 1895, and in numerous later editions of that collection.

Morrowbie Jukes, out on a moonlight ride, falls with his horse down an unexpectedly steep slope of sand, into a crater. He finds himself in a sort of village of the living dead, where people who appear to have died of - for instance cholera - but revived when their bodies were about to be burned, are imprisoned. Led by Gunga Dass, a murderous Brahmin, they sleep in burrows in the sand, and live on crows. There is no way out past the steep slopes of sand, or the quicksands of the river. Jukes joins them, despairingly, until he is rescued by his servant, who has tracked him across the sands.



A Disturber of Traffic 
First printed in the September 1891 Atlantic Monthly as “A Disturber of Traffic”, and collected in Many Inventions (1893).  
Fenwick, the lighthouse keeper of St. Cecilia’s light, tells the story of his friend Dowse, driven mad by loneliness and “the streaking of the tides” he attributes to passing ships while he was keeper of the light in Flores Strait, in what is now Indonesia. With the help of Challong, an “Orang laut”, Dowse blocks the strait with spurious wreck buoys and ropes and flares, determined that ships will go around by Ombay Passage instead. 
  

My Lord the Elephant
First published in the Civil and Military Gazette on 27th and 28th December, 1892. Also appeared in the Bombay Gazette.
This is a tale in two parts. The first, told by Mulvaney, recounts how on his way to jail as a defaulter, he and his escort had encountered an enraged elephant. He is released to run for his life, and is chased by the elephant into a compound full of carriages, where he dashes up the stairs to the roof...

In the Rukh
"In the Rukh" was included with the other Mowgli stories as the last tale in Volume VII. It was also included in a number of other Jungle Book editions, including the de luxe edition of 1898, and All the Mowgli Stories (Macmillan, 1933). 


A matter of fact
This story was first published in People on January 24, 1892The narrator ships from Capetown to England on a tramp steamer, with two other journalists for company, an American and a Dutchman. Out on the ocean, in a fog, they encounter a massive tidal wave, which almost swamps the ship, and overturns another big vessel. Then they have a strange encounter, across the very bulwarks of the ship, with a monster from the deep sea, cast up to the surface by an under-water earthquake. Soon after the fog clears, and they see two such creatures, one mortally wounded and dying. The unwounded one swims to it, stays till it dies, and disappears over the gray sea. 
 
Beyond the pale
The story first appeared in the first Indian edition of Plain Tales from the Hills in 1888.
A beautiful young Indian woman, Bisesa, has been widowed very young, and longs for a lover. An Englishman, Trejago, who is knowledgeable about things Indian, wanders into the gully where she sits behind a barred window, and has a flirtatious exchange with her. One thing leads to another, and they secretly become passionate lovers. After an idyllic month he is attentive to an Englishwoman, with no serious intent, but Bisesa hears of it and tells him to go. He is desperate to see her, but the next time she answers his knock at the window, it is only to thrust out the stumps of her amputated hands in the moonlight. From behind her a knife stabs into Trejago's groin, and the grating is slammed shut. There has been tragedy, and he has lost her. He has paid heavily for stepping beyond the limits of his own people. 

In the House of Suddhoo
"In the House of Suddhoo" is a short story by Rudyard Kipling. The story was published in the Civil and Military Gazette on April 30, 1886 under the title  "Section 420, I.P.C." (Indian Penal Code).
"In the House of Suddhoo," therefore, is a story about deception.

Lispeth
The story was published in the Civil and Military Gazette on November 29th 1886, in the first Indian edition of Plain Tales from the Hills in 1888.
Lispeth was a Hill girl who was left at a mission as a baby in time of famine. She grows up, finds an Englishman suffering from fever on the road, and takes him to the mission, announcing that she will nurse him back to health and then marry him. He flirts with her and leaves. When she finds that he has no intention of marrying her, she returns to her own people.
 
The Taking of Lung Punkten
a short story by Rudyard Kipling which was first published in the Civil and Military Gazette on 11 April 1887. In book form, the story appeared in the first Indian edition of Plain Tales from the Hills in 1888, and in subsequent editions of that collection.
This story tells "how Privit Mulvaney tuk the town av Lungtungpen", in his own words (Kipling represents him conventionally as an Irish speaker of English).

The Gate of the Hundred Sorrows
This story was first published in the Civil and Military Gazette on September 26th 1884, when Kipling was not yet nineteen, and collected in Plain Tales from the Hills in 1888, and in subsequent editions of this collection.
The tale is presented as a monologue by Gabral Misquitta, a half-caste opium addict, six weeks before his death. It describes the life of the opium den, and of the opium smokers, in the Coppersmith's Gully near the mosque of Wazir Khan. In the end, all life for them revolves around the 'black smoke'. There is nothing else. 





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