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242 THE AUTHENTICITY OF RUDYARD KIPLING'S UNCOLLECTED NEWSPAPER WRITINGS: 1882-1888 By Louis L. Cornell (Columbia University) When Rudyard Kipling worked as a journalist in India, ho found it convenient to publish what he wrote in one or more of the papers ho worked for. Then, as his local reputation grew, he began to choose the best of his newspaper writings for republication in such well know collections as DEPARTMENTAL DITTIES (1886), PLAIN TALES FROM THE HILLS (1888), and SOLDIERS THREE (1888); his other writings—the so-called "uncolloctcd" pieces—though published, have remained for the most part in tho obscurity of old newspaper files. As a result, the student of Kipling's early development is faced with several problems. The uncollected pieces cannot be ignored, for they display the almost unbroken continuity of Kipling's growth. But they are, in their original form, extremely rare. Although files of tho relevant nowspapors have survived, they arc scattered to tho four winds: the Stowart Colloction at Dalhousie University owns a run of the PIONEER; the IVEEK5S NEWS may be road at Harvard's Houghton Library; the most important, the CIVIL AND MILITARY GAZETTE, is at the Commonwealth Rolations Office in London, But even if the texts were at hand, it would be far from easy to determine which of the pieces arc by Kipling, for most of his contributions were published anonymously or pscudonymously; nor had he, before about 1886, developed the characteristic style, that lends such distinctness to his later work. Thus, tho authenticity of numerous uncollected pieces that have been attributed to Kipling remains a matter for speculation. In this essay I shall try to indicate the present state of our information about the uncollected pioccs, tho reasons for further investigation, and, finally, some conclusions I have drawn as to which of them arc, in fact, by Rudyard Kipling. That tho texts of Kipling's uncollected newspaper writings arc available in any form is the result of tho enthusiasm of a group of collectors and amatour scholars. It is not clear just what their dealings wore with Kipling and with one another, but we can reconstruct a plausible sequence of events from the available facts. The story begins in 1922, when the English collector Ernest W. Martindcll published the first attempt at a full-scale bibliography of Kipling's writings.1 As it was based on his own holdings, which included little uncollected material, Martindcll did not try to take any account of the uncollected Indian writings. Evidently the first edition brought Martindcll to the attention of other Kipling specialists, for he published a "Now Edition" in 1923 which lists a large number of attributed Indian items and expresses in its proface his obligations to Mrs, Luther S. Livingston and Mr. Ellis Ames Ballard.2 Flora V. Livingston was then at work on her own bibliography of Kipling, so that she must have been able to call Martindcll's attention to gaps and errors in his work; Ballard, on the other hand, was a collector rather than a bibliographer—a wealthy Philadelphia lawyer who then had porhaps the finest Kipling library in the world—and his collaboration with Martindcll took a rather different form. Tho two decided to undertake an unusual project: they would print, in private editions, a very few copies of all the uncollected material in the PIONEER and CIVIL AND MILITARY GAZETTE that could reasonably be ascribed to Kipling. And so, between I923 and 1937, a total of l4o of the so-called "Ballard-Martindoll Unauthorized Printings" were brought into the world. Their sponsors' motives were not, from a collector's point of view, of the purest, as James McGregor Stewart points out.3 But in fact, Ballard and Martindcll did Kipling scholars a real service, for thoy unearthed hundreds of pieces that would otherwise have remained almost wholly inaccessible. Of particular value is a volume devoted to uncollected verse; in it can bo found a largo number of tho many uncollected newspaper poems that may possibly 243 ;.ivo como from Kipling's pon. A copy of that raro volume is in tho Livingston ïipling Collection at Harvard, whero Flora V. Livingston continued nor work...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 242-249
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived
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