A biography of Kipling through his early '30s and the writing of The Jungle Books and Kim, written by a uniquely qualified author. Charles Allen is the great-grandson of the man who gave the 16-year old Kipling his first job as a journalist in Lahore, India. Not only that, but Allen was one of the last generation of "Anglo-Indians" to grow up in colonial India, in the '40s.
Young Ruddy was the spoiled son of non-aristocratic but artistic parents in mid-19th century India, only to be sent back, with his sister, to spend years in a brutal boardinghouse in England, not to mention being an outside in public school. When he got back to India, he was neither fish nor fowl, but his passion for and curiosity regarding India and all of its complexity was stronger than ever.
An excellent literary biography, and the rare one that knows when to say when.