The Great War and Rudyard Kipling
in In Time’s eye
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This chapter focuses on Rudyard Kipling and his interpretation of the issues which brought Germany and Britain to war with each other, and with his justification of British belligerency. Kipling knew that Britain was dependent on sea-power and sea-trade not merely for the preservation of her empire, but for survival. All witnesses agree that Britain became hysterical with hatred of the Germans during the First World War, and Kipling caught the infection. There are few signs that the popular imagination is ready to consider and discuss Britain's twentieth century wars, the two World Wars particularly dispassionately, honestly, knowledgeably and accurately. It is hardly surprising that an age which finds in Britten's War Requiem its most representative piece of public music should be unaware that it is possible to take more than one view of the Great War.

In Time’s eye

Essays on Rudyard Kipling

Editor: Jan Montefiore

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