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Ill REVIEWS 1. When Kipling Plotted With Haggard Morton Cohen (ed.). RUDYARD KIPLING TO RIDER HAGGARD: THE RECORD OF A FRIENDSHIP. Lond: Hutchingson, 1965- 42s. IN RIDER HAGGARD (I960) Morton Cohen traced the long friendship between Kipling and Haggard, devoting about twenty-five pages to the personal and literary relationship of the two men and giving generous excerpts from Kipling's letters to Haggard. In the present volume Cohen brings together all the material which he has uncovered concerning the Kipling-Haggard friendship, including forty-nine letters from Kipling, two letters from Haggard, and twenty-seven entries from Haggard's diary. Cohen also provides a long introduction which summarizes the main outlines of the lives of Kipling and Haggard and their interest in the Savile Club. Wherever additional material is needed to make the context clear, he includes detailed notes, brief narrative bridges between letters and diary, and additional letters by Kipling. Appendices contain outlines of two Haggard novels on which Kipling helped. Though the correspondence, as Cohen admits, is somewhat one-sided, since Kipling rarely kept letters sent him, the juxtaposition of Haggard's diary with Kipling's letters is skillfully done and provides a very full picture of both writers and their personal concerns. Kipling's letters are filled with protestations of friendship for Haggard; his favorite salutation is "Dear old man. . . ." And Haggard's diary record often gives intimate and detailed glimpses of Kipling's everyday life, which are especially poignant when Kipling lost his son in World War I. The two writers discuss farming and agriculture (Haggard's special interests), the political climate and specific politicians, the Boer War, World War I, the death of Theodore Roosevelt, Bolshevism, religion, travel accomodations, and the plague of too many people writing too many letters to them. When the correspondence began in the middle Eighteen Nineties, Haggard was at the peak of his popularity. KING SOLOMON'S MINES had appeared in 1885 and SHE in 1886. Kipling, of course, had published DEPARTMENTAL DITTIES in 1886 and BARRACKROOM BALLADS in 1892, and had achieved some popularity, but was still to gain the height of his success. When Haggard died in 1925, his popularity was at low ebb, but a survey made by the BOOKMAN in the same year indicated that Kipling was the most popular writer in English. This shift in the literary reputations of the two men is never alluded to in the letters and diary, and it never estranged or affected their friendship in any way. Throughout his letters Kipling praises Haggard's fiction, saying that readers and critics misunderstand Haggard's achievement and stating at least once that he could not write a novel as Haggard does. In his biography, RIDER HAGGARD, Cohen suggested that Haggard might have helped even more with Kipling's stories than is recorded: ". . .it is hard to believe that Kipling did not consult his friend about his own work and that Haggard did not return the courtesy of letting Kipling benefit from his own prolific imagination" (p, 206). And in both the biography and in the present collection of letters, Cohen has documented the actual literary influence of Haggard on Kipling, who made at least five references to Haggard's work in stories and poems and admitted that Mowgli the wolf boy was partly inspired by a phrase in Haggard's NADE THE LILY. 112 One wishes that Morton Cohen had extended his speculation on literary influence a bit farther when considering Kipling's help in plotting Haggard's stories. In I905 Kipling and Haggard worked on the plot for THE GHOST KINGS and, in 1908, on the details of Haggard's RED EVE. Other stories written by Haggard with which Kipling helped are THE MAHATMA AND THE HARE in 19M, WHEN THE WORLD SHOOK in I9I7, and ALLAN AND THE ICE-GODS in 1922, That the two authors could work so closely together—they could sit in the same room and write—is an indication of the closeness of their friendship. The intriguing question, however, is whether Kipling's help increased, ultimately, the quality of the Haggard novels he worked on. Morton Cohen does not raise this problem, though he does...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 111-112
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Will Be Archived 2021
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