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Rudyard Kipling's Uncollected Speeches

A Second Book of Words

Rudyard Kipling, Edited by Thomas Pinney

Publication Year: 2008

A Book of Words, Kipling’s own selection of his speeches published in 1928, reflects a variety of topics and audiences. He spoke to schoolboys about literature, to Brazilians about “the spirit of the Latin,” to the Royal Geographical Society about travel, to navy men about sailors, to ship owners about shipping, to university students about independence. Many of his speeches have remained uncollected and virtually unknown. A Second Book of Words collects what Kipling left uncollected. The speeches in this new book date from 1884 to 1935. We see Kipling at different moments before different audiences. We hear how he talked to his Sussex neighbors, or how he addressed a parliamentary committee, or a South African election meeting, or a club of London doctors, or his fellow honorary degree recipients at Cambridge. The more substantial, formal speeches are equally various, marked by Kipling’s mastery of language, a few passing over into a violent extravagance of feeling—the attack on the Liberal government in the speech of 16 May 1914 or the speech on war aims of 15 February 1918. Usually, however, the tone is urbane, the artistic aim to instruct through delight. Kipling knew that the maker of speeches and the poet were subject to the same law: “Unless they please they are not heard at all.” A Second Book of Words adds another forty-eight speeches to the thirty-eight that Kipling chose to make public, printing all the known uncollected speeches—long or short, carefully meditated or spontaneous, tendentious or diplomatic. Another twenty-five for which no text has so far been found are identified, as are the speeches that he is known to have written for members of the royal family.

Published by: ELT Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. v-vii

List of Illustrations

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pp. viii

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pp. ix-xi

Few readers of Kipling will think of him as a maker of speeches, yet he made them at fairly regular intervals throughout his working life: he gave the earliest on record when he was still only seventeen years old; the latest, in the last year of his life. Kipling was famous at a very young age, and was naturally ...


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pp. xii

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At the Punjab Club, Lahore

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pp. 1

In the letter to his Aunt Edith Macdonald in which he copies out this speech, Kipling says that “it was my maiden speech.” Earlier, however, in a letter to Edith Macdonald of 24 December 1882, he had written that “I am going to a big Masonic Banquet where in default of my Seniors I shall have to return thanks ...

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To the Tokyo Club

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pp. 2-3

Kipling was in Japan in the course of his long wedding journey, which began in England, went on to the American east coast, then across the American continent and the north Pacific to Japan; the intention was to continue to India, but the failure of Kipling’s bank and his wife’s pregnancy determined them to return to ...

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To the Authors’ Club

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pp. 4

Kipling, on a visit to England from Vermont in April to August of this year, permitted himself to be lionized far more than his usual caution allowed, attending dinners in London, giving interviews, having his portrait made for Vanity Fair and the Pall Mall Gazette, and spending weekends at country houses. ...

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On the Retirement of Cormell Price

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pp. 5-7

Cormell Price (1835–1910 ), the head of the United Services College at Westward Ho! since its opening in 1874, had not yet been celebrated by Kipling as “The Head” in Stalky & Co., and the praise he receives in this speech is not quite in the Stalky vein: an influence making for “obedience, cleanliness, courtesy ...

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To the Society of Medical Phonographers

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pp. 8-9

The occasion of this speech was a dinner at Limmer’s Hotel, Hanover Square, London, given to Sir William Gowers on his receiving a knighthood. Gowers (1845–1915), a physician noted for his work on diseases of the nervous system, was also an eager advocate of a system of shorthand to aid doctors in writing ...

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To the Anglo-African Writers’ Club

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pp. 10-12

Kipling, recently returned from his first extended visit to South Africa (8 January– 30 April 1898), was the guest of honor at this dinner, held at the Grand Hotel, London. Sir Henry Rider Haggard, the novelist, who presided, had been one of the founders of the Anglo-African Writers’ Club and had probably extended ...

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At a Navy League Meeting, Rottingdean

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pp. 13

War had been declared between Great Britain and the Boer Republic on 11 October 1899 and the British were now building up an expeditionary force. “Mr. Wyatt” of the Navy League was Harold Frazer Wyatt (d. 1925), active in the Navy League since 1895 and its secretary from 1905. Rottingdean is the Sussex village ...

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At a Recruiting Meeting, Rottingdean

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pp. 14

Mr Rudyard Kipling has of late been actively interesting himself with a view to the formation of a company of Volunteers at Rottingdean, and at a meeting of the parishioners called to consider the subject on Tuesday evening the author of “The Absent-minded Beggar” was the chief speaker. ...

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At a Dinner for Lord Roberts, Bloemfontein Railway Station

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pp. 15-16

On the invitation of Lord Roberts, the army commander in South Africa, Kipling joined the staff of the paper (19 March–3 April 1900), called The Friend, that Roberts had established for the troops at Bloemfontein. Kipling greatly enjoyed the experience and formed enduring friendships with three of the journalists ...

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To the South African Hospitals Commission

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pp. 17-19

Kipling, who, through “The Absent-Minded Beggar,” had been instrumental in raising a large fund for the assistance of soldiers and their families also helped to distribute the supplies purchased by the fund, and in connection with this work had seen much of the army’s medical arrangements in South Africa. ...

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At a Meeting of the Navy League, Rottingdean

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pp. 20

On this day Kipling had opened the new rifle range at Rottingdean, largely the result of his own efforts—“I believe it’s the first 1,000 yd range started by purely private enterprise in Gt Britain” (Letters, III, 35). The meeting of the Navy League that evening was probably planned as a part of the opening celebrations, ...

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At the Opening of the Rifle Range, Sydenham

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pp. 21-23

The Boer War had convinced Kipling that the British were sadly unprepared for war, and he campaigned thereafter for national military training. Establishing rifle ranges was one of the favorite means to encourage training, and Kipling had paid for one at Rottingdean in 1900 (see the headnote to 20 October 1900). ...

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At a Meeting of the Cape Town Progressive Association

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pp. 24-25

The meeting, held at the Young Men’s Christian Association in Cape Town, inaugurated the Cape Town Progressive Association in support of the Progressive Party, the party of the English interest in Cape Colony. Cecil Rhodes had died in 1902; his former lieutenant, Dr. Leander Starr Jameson, was now the leader ...

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To the Electors of Rondebosch

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pp. 26-27

The general election in the Cape Colony, February 1904, was won by the Progressives, the party of Rhodes and Jameson. Sir Lewis Michell (1842–1928), a Cape Town banker, was the friend, confidential agent and biographer of Cecil Rhodes; he succeeded to Rhodes’s positions as Chairman of De Beers Consolidated Mines ...

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To the Automobile Club of South Africa

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pp. 28-29

Delivered at the third annual banquet of the Automobile Club of South Africa, Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town. Kipling’s implicit claim in this speech to have been among the pioneers of automobile travel was well founded. He leased his first car in 1899, and by 1905 had owned a Locomobile and two Lanchesters, ...

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To the Students of Durham University

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pp. 30

Kipling had gone to Durham to receive an honorary degree from the university. His train was met by students dressed as characters from his stories, or in other sorts of costume, who pulled Kipling’s cab through the streets of Durham to the house of his host, the Reverend Henry Ellershaw. After Mr. and Mrs. Kipling had ...

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To the Canadian Club, Vancouver

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pp. 31-34

Kipling’s tour of Canada in 1907, which apparently began as simply a private visit, turned into a kind of royal progress. While still en route from England he was invited to deliver a series of speeches to the Canadian Clubs across the country. On his arrival he was provided with a private rail car, with its own porter, ...

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To the Canadian Club, Victoria

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pp. 35-38

The excitement over Kipling’s visit was quite as intense in Victoria as it had been in Vancouver. The meeting of the Canadian Club was moved to the A.O.U.W. Hall in order to accommodate the largest attendance in the history of the club. The reception of the speech is described by the Victoria Daily Times: ...

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To the Canadian Club, Ottawa

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pp. 39-44

This speech was made in the Railway Committee Room of the House of Commons, Ottawa, before an audience of three hundred club members, including the Prime Minister, Sir Wilfred Laurier, of whom Kipling unkindly observed that “he looks even as Jameson said, a French dancing-master” (CK diary, 19 October 1907). ...

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To the Canadian Club, Montreal

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pp. 45-48

This was Kipling’s last speech on his Canadian tour, given in the Hall of the Corn Exchange building to what the Montreal Gazette called “by far the largest meeting ever held by the Club, there being upwards of six hundred guests present.” Evidently there was some disappointment in the speech: the Daily Star called it ...

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At the Opening of the Burwash Institute

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pp. 49-50

Burwash is the East Sussex village to which Kipling moved in 1902, to the Jacobean house called “Bateman’s.” The Burwash Institute, intended to be a center of village life, was the result of four years’ work led by Kipling’s neighbor Col. A. Sutherland Harris. Money was raised by church bazaars, jumble sales, concerts, ...

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Speech Delivered in the Hall of Trinity College, Cambridge: Replying to Health of Recipients

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pp. 51-52

Kipling was awarded an honorary degree by Cambridge on the occasion of the installation of Lord Rayleigh as Chancellor of the University. The other recipients of degrees were the Prime Minister, Asquith, The Duke of Northumberland, Lord Halsbury, Admiral Sir John Fisher, Sir George Trevelyan, ...

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At the Cecil Club Dinnerfor Admiral Lord Charles Beresford

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pp. 53-54

The reforms carried out in the Navy under Admiral Sir John Fisher from 1904 on, though now generally regarded as useful and necessary, raised bitter opposition at the time. Admiral Lord Charles Beresford (1846–1919), an immensely popular figure, “to the general public the best known sailor of his day” ...

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At an International Conference on Air Safety, Folkestone

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pp. 55-57

In preparation for cross-channel “weight-carrying” competitions among airplanes between Folkestone and Boulogne, to be held in 1911, the municipal officials of both cities had held two conferences on the subject of air safety; they were now holding a third, at which Kipling volunteered to be present. He had already ...

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To the Electors of Ashton-under-Lyne

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pp. 58-63

Max Aitken, having made a fortune in Canada, came to England in 1910 and quickly moved into public life. He was elected Conservative M.P. for Ashton-under-Lyne in 1910; in 1911 he was knighted; he was made baronet, 1916, and baron, as Lord Beaverbrook, in 1917. He did not begin his career as newspaper proprietor ...

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At a National Service League Meeting, Burwash

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pp. 64-65

This was a late episode in the campaign for national service, an open-air meeting at Burwash. As Kipling wrote to his son John, Lord Roberts, the president of the National Service League, had himself asked Kipling to make a speech: “Lord Roberts asked me and as I want to keep solid with him for your sake you ungrateful ...

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At a Public Meeting Protesting Home Rule, Tunbridge Wells

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pp. 66-73

This speech, intemperate even for Kipling, seems to show, if nothing else, that though he was irresistibly attracted to political questions he was incapable of thinking about them in any but a partisan way. The proposals for Home Rule, to him, were unrelievedly bad; therefore bad men had made them for bad motives. ...

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At a Recruiting Meeting, the Dome, Brighton

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pp. 74-75

The outbreak of war in early August meant that all of the political rancor built up over Liberal measures and Home Rule agitation over the past nine years was instantly overwhelmed: “All the interests of our life of six weeks ago are dead.” The note that Kipling strikes in this early response to the war remains essentially ...

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In Aid of Recruiting, Southport

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pp. 76-81

The circumstances of this speech have been described by B. S. Townroe in an article in the Kipling Journal, December 1946. Townroe, as assistant to Lord Derby in his recruiting campaign in Lancashire, suggested that they invite Kipling to address an open-air meeting to stimulate a “very sluggish” recruiting at Southport. ...

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At Opening of the Maple Leaf Club, Berkeley Square

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pp. 82

Mr. Rudyard Kipling said it was extremely pleasant to know that Sir Robert Borden, with his knowledge of Canadian needs, was of opinion that the Club of the Maple Leaf promised to be useful. Like everything else in this war, it was created to fill a gap. When a man was wounded he went to a hospital, ...

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Short Speech at Opening of the Maple Leaf Clubs

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pp. 83

Three Maple Leaf Clubs, in Grosvenor Gardens, Connaught Place, and Elizabeth Street, Pimlico, were opened on 21 December by the Duke of Connaught, third of Queen Victoria’s sons and Governor-General of Canada, 1911–1916. The opening ceremony took place at the Pimlico Club, where this speech was given. ...

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At a Meeting on War Aims, Folkestone

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pp. 84-88

If there was some special occasion for this speech about war aims and war loans, it is not known. Mrs Kipling’s diary for 31 January 1918 reports that “Rud works on his Folkestone speech which may or may not come off” (Rees extracts). Afterwards Kipling wrote that he hoped it would “be quoted here and go ...

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At the U.S. Army Rest Camp, Winnall Down

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pp. 89-90

Kipling had been asked to speak at the opening of a YMCA “hut” for officers at Winnall Down, near Winchester (see next speech). When he got there he was “asked to make a speech to the 7000 U.S.A. men in the open air as well as the Officers so he sets to and does a short speech” (Rees extracts, 20 July 1918). ...

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At the Opening of a YMCA Hut for American Officers, Winnall Down

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pp. 91-95

This was the speech that Kipling had been asked to make before the impromptu one earlier on the same day (see above). Kipling wrote to Moreton Frewen afterwards: “If you’d been to Winchester and seen the boys pouring in and out, and heard ’em and watched ’em, it would have sent you home singing and dancing ...

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To the Parliamentary Army Committee

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pp. 96-97

Kipling accepted appointment to the Imperial War Graves Commission on its founding in 1917 and was thereafter an active and conscientious member of the Commission. In its early days the Commission had to struggle to establish three regulations: absolute equality of treatment; the provision of a headstone rather ...

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Speech Made at Etchingham Church on the Occasion of the Unveiling of the War Memorial

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pp. 98-100

Mrs. Kipling’s diary for 28 April reads: “Rud busy with his speech at the opening this evening of the Etchingham memorial. Rain, sleet and bitter wind at the time of the ceremony” (Rees extracts). Etchingham lies a few miles east of Burwash, on the rail line to London; from a population of four hundred there were ...

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At a Meeting of the Courts of Brotherhood and Guestling, Sandwich

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pp. 101

Kipling attended a ceremony of the Cinque Ports Courts of Brotherhood and Guestling and made this brief speech at the lunch held afterwards. The practical motive behind the occasion was the plan of the Sandwich authorities to develop the war port of Richborough as a major link in the trade with France, ...

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At a Graduation Luncheon, Edinburgh University Union

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pp. 102-103

Kipling received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Edinburgh on 8 July at the summer graduation ceremonies of the University. He spoke twice on the occasion, first at a dinner for the degree recipients in the Upper Library, 7 July, and then at a luncheon in the University Union on the next day, ...

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To the Associated Franco-British Societies

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pp. 104-107

The only reference to this speech that I know of is the entry in Mrs. Kipling’s diary for 22 May 1922: “Rud’s speech at the Anglo-French dinner a great success” (Rees extracts). In the preceding two weeks Kipling had been in Belgium and France at the time of King George V’s visit to war cemeteries there; the climax ...

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At University House, to the Students of St. Andrews

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pp. 108-110

Kipling was elected Rector of the University of St. Andrews—an honorary position voted upon by the students—on 11 November 1922 and was now on a visit to the University to perform his duty as Rector. As one of his privileges he could nominate candidates for honorary degrees to be given on his installation; ...

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At the Re-Opening of the Men’s Student Union, St. Andrews

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pp. 111-115

On 10 October Kipling made his principal speech as Rector of St. Andrews, collected in A Book of Words, 1928, as “Independence.” At the official dinner following in the United College Hall he made another speech, of which I have found no text: according to the St. Andrews Citizen,13 October, it was “of a witty nature.” ...

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To Students at the Railway Station, Dundee

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pp. 116

As Rector of the University of St. Andrews Kipling had also to do his duty at University College, Dundee, a part of the University. He traveled to Dundee on 12 October and addressed a luncheon crowd in the gymnasium; the speech is collected in A Book of Words, 1928, as “The Classics and the Sciences.” ...

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At the Canada Club Dinner to Stanley Baldwin

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pp. 117

Stanley Baldwin and the Prince of Wales had toured Canada in August of 1927 on the occasion of the diamond jubilee of Canadian federation. A dinner hosted by the Canada Club at the Savoy Hotel was held to commemorate this tour; the Prince of Wales spoke first, then Baldwin, then Kipling. ...

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To the Fountain Club, St. Bartholomew’s Hospital

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pp. 118

Kipling was taken as a guest to the Christmas meeting of the Fountain Club, a dining club associated with St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, by Gerald “Peter” Stanley, an English doctor who had married Francis Park, daughter of the Kiplings’ old friend Julia Catlin Park Depew Taufflieb. ...

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At a Luncheon of the Stationers’ Company

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pp. 119-120

Sir Frederic Kenyon (1863–1952), a distinguished paleographer and philologist employed at the British Museum since 1889, was Director of the Museum, 1909–1930. Kipling, as he says, had known him through their association on the Imperial War Graves Commission where Kenyon had been highly useful ...

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At a Dinner for Prime Minister Bennett

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pp. 121-122

This dinner, at Claridge’s Hotel, in honor of Richard Bedford Bennett, Conservative Prime Minister of Canada, 1930–1935, celebrated the Ottawa Agreements arising out of the Imperial Economic Conference held earlier in the year, largely through Bennett’s efforts. They provided for preferential trade ...

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At a Dinner of the African Society

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pp. 123-124

The dinner, held at the Trocadero, was in honor of Albert Sarraut (1872–1962), French Minister of the Colonies, but Kipling’s speech was to the health of the chairman of the African Society, Sydney Charles Buxton (1853–1934), first Earl Buxton, who had been Governor-General of South Africa, 1914–1920, ...

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To Canadian Schoolchildren at Eastbourne

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pp. 125-126

Who or what persuaded Kipling to make this visit is not known. The next day he wrote to his Canadian correspondent J. W. Barry that “I’ve had the good luck to see a few Canadian boys and girls yesterday. They were on tour through England and were—very good-looking and intelligent youngsters” ...

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Rudyard Kipling’s Speeches: A Checklist

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pp. 127-140

This list includes in chronological order all of the speeches that Kipling is known to have made, including about twenty-five for which no texts have been found and which are marked by a bullet •. I say “about,” because in some cases it is not clear whether a single speech or more than one speech is in question ...

Appendix: Kipling’s Speeches Written for Members of the Royal Family

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pp. 141-144


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pp. 145-148

E-ISBN-13: 9780944318270
Print-ISBN-13: 9780944318249

Page Count: 160
Illustrations: 13 line art and photos
Publication Year: 2008