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The Long Recessional: The Imperial Life of Rudyard Kipling

3.53  ·  Rating Details  ·  38 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
"Readable and reliable . . . [Gilmour's] assessment of the political background of Kipling's writings is exemplary." —Earl L. Dachslager, Houston Chronicle

David Gilmour's superbly nuanced biography of Rudyard Kipling, now available in paperback, is the first to show how the great writer's life and work mirrored the trajectory of the British Empire, from its zenith to its f
Paperback, 368 pages
Published June 11th 2003 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published March 7th 2002)
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Jan 25, 2011 Janice rated it really liked it
As part of my Rudyard Kipling fix, I purchased this biography. It is very well written, infusing Kiplings poems into the narrative to explain his life. It definitely had its "slow" moments but I enjoyed it. As an American, I am always a little embarrassed about how much "world history" I know little about. I learned a ton about British imperialism in this book. A great read for me but is more text book than "story."
Jul 07, 2016 Charles rated it it was amazing
Rudyard Kipling, when remembered today, is usually snidely dismissed as a jingoistic Victorian, or as the writer of certain children’s books. “The Long Recessional” provides the modern reader with a concise biography of the multi-faceted Kipling, showing him as, if not a man for all seasons, surely a man for his time.

David Gilmour is also the author of an excellent biography of George Nathaniel Curzon, sometime Viceroy of India, and a contemporary of Kipling’s. Kipling was born in India and in t
Mark Peebler
Jan 09, 2015 Mark Peebler rated it liked it
Very detailed with many sources. It jumps around a bit at times, making it hard to keep up with. The author sometimes seems to worried about political correctness, holding Kipling to 21st century PC standards. Will definitely read again though.
Mar 13, 2009 Nathan rated it it was ok
Clear and focused, yet so nuanced as to be inconclusive. Whether or not Kipling was an imperialist is not left open to debate, as this is readily apparent from even a cursory study of his work; what this book irritatingly fails to deliver is a judgment on his imperialist tendencies. The writing is accessible yet bland, so this book could have been so much more.
Apr 17, 2011 Richard rated it really liked it
Apart from being fascinating about Kipling and his milieu(s), an elegant seminar in everything a good biography of an impossibly complicated individual should be. I look forward to reading it again.
Apr 30, 2010 Nancy rated it it was ok
Dry. Very dry.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Sir David Robert Gilmour, 4th Baronet (b. 14 November 1952) is a Scottish author. He is the first son of Ian Gilmour, Baron Gilmour of Craigmillar, 3rd Baronet, and Lady Caroline Margaret Montagu-Douglas-Scott, the youngest daughter of the 8th Duke of Buccleuch. HRH Princess
More about David Gilmour...

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