Vagabondage in Rajasthan
Kipling’s North Indian travels
in In Time’s eye
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From late November to late December 1887, Rudyard Kipling travelled in the 'Native States' of North India, enjoying his longest Indian experience of footloose travel. The influence of Kipling's travels in Rajasthan on his later writings goes beyond the dark history of Chitor and its influence on Cold Lairs. But Cold Lairs owes more to the Chitor of 'Letters of Marque' than its atmospheric ruins. Like Kim on the Grand Trunk Road encountering 'new sights at every turn of the approving eye', Kipling is from the start of the journey delighted by the experience of dawn on the road. In Boondi, Kipling encounters a way of living which he finds increasingly seductive. Though Kipling in 1888 repudiated 'natives' so fiercely, his immersion in the societies of Rajasthan had an enduring after-life in his greatest fictions of India.

In Time’s eye

Essays on Rudyard Kipling

Editor: Jan Montefiore

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