Actions and Reactions
Kipling’s Edwardian summer
in In Time’s eye
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Rudyard Kipling's collection of stories and accompanying poems, Actions and Reactions, was published in October 1909. It is obvious from a reading of Actions and Reactions that Kipling did not imagine himself to be living in one of the two states of illusion commonly projected onto Edwardian society. It would be fascinating to trace the evolution of the story now called 'The Puzzler', whose colonial politics are up-to-date Edwardian and whose setting is somewhere in Kipling's own adoptive county, Sussex. By 1909 Kipling had accepted, and to some extent embraced, his identity as a polemical writer. In his fine book on The Edwardians, J.B. Priestley speaks with the irreverent authority of a 'junior Edwardian', as he calls himself. Priestley argues strongly that the predominant social and political tone of the period was set by class antagonism.

In Time’s eye

Essays on Rudyard Kipling

Editor: Jan Montefiore


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