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FOREWORD TO KIPLING'S VERMONT PERIOD By Thomas B. Ragle (Director of Salzburg Seminar, Austria) In 1936 Howard Rice, Jr., published a little volume entitled Rudyard Kipling in New England. Rather than representing the culmination of his interest in Kipling, however, this was merely the first evidence of it. Throughout the rest of his life—whüe teaching French at Harvard, broadcasting for the Office of War Information, serving briefly as Director of the U.S. Information Library in Paris, then as Assistant Librarian for Rare Books and Special Collections at the Princeton University Library for over twenty years until his retirement in 1970—he patiently researched aU the references to KipUng he could find in the local newspapers of the time. NaturaUy this research included Kipling's brother-in-law Wolcott Balestier's life and works (he once told me jokingly that he was probably the only Uving American to have read Wolcott's "complete works") as well as the history of the Balestier family. Then one day, it must have been in 1979, he appeared in my office at Marlboro CoUege with three large boxes containing the typescript of a book, almost complete, entitled Kipling's Vermont Period and asked my help in getting it published. A year later, without warning, he died. The volume contains a preface, an introduction, and six chapters of widely varying length. The first box contains a preface, an introduction, and the first of the chapters. The preface, of nine double-spaced typescript pages, explains that his work is neither a biography nor a critical study but "a collection of documents, or documentary chronicle, with a special angle of vision. The view is from Brattleboro, Windham County, Vermont, U.S.A.: the KipUngs as their Brattleboro friends saw them." The introduction, twenty-one typewntten pages including notes, is printed here with its typically precisely researched commentary on Molly Cabot of Brattleboro, author or the most important memoir, with its description of Brattleboro and vicinity, the story of the Balestiers, and the surprising section on WiUiam Dean HoweUs. There then follows Chapter One, MoUy Cabot's brief memoir of Wolcott Balestier, KipUng's close friend and coUaborator on The Naulahka. The memoir itself is only seven pages, augmented by thirty-eight pages of letters, mostly from Wolcott to Molly Cabot but also including letters to or among other members of the Cabot fanüly; by an addendum amounting to nineteen pages consisting of "Gleanings from the Brattleboro Newspapers in 1891 and 1892 about serial publication of The Naulahka and then Wolcott's untimely death; and finally by eighty-eight pages (many not full) of notes, many brief as one might expect but many short essays in themselves. The second box, the fiiUest and most important of the three, contains the typescript of Molly Cabot's memoir of KipUng, "Kipling's Vermont Period," 121 pages of text (numbered 1-114 but including seven interleaved pages) and 203 sheets of notes, most of the latter again, however, not full pages (at least one sheet is devoted to each note) but some once again small essays of several pages. I have not been able to ascertain, however, exactly how many of the 121 pages of text is the memoir because Mr. Rice did insert some letters in addition to those included by Molly Cabot herself. Note 12 reads thus: 148 The excerpts from letters included hereafter in Mary Cabot's memoir are from letters to her sister Grace Cabot Holbrook, unless otherwise noted. In editing the memoir I have checked these excerpts, where possible, against original letters (Holbrook Collection), expanded them, added new ones, and rearranged them in chronological sequence. Excerpts from what Miss Cabot terms her "Journal"—which was apparently destroyed— are indicated. Most unfortunately the original of the memoir, in the Holbrook Collection, could not be located when I spent a day going through many of the papers collected by the Holbrook family over the years and stored in the basement of the Holbrook family home in Brattleboro. Mr. Rice was such a meticulous editor his procedure here is curious, but apparently his major concern was the story, not the editing. The second box, Uke...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 148-149
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Ceased Publication
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