by John McGivering)
|notes on the text|
Never before had Rudyard handled the tones of a composition with so sure a touch as in the bright hard foreground and the deftly suggested background of “On Greenhow Hill”, a demonstration of the progress he had made in his art during the previous year of enriched experience.Walter Morris Hart [Kipling, the Story-Writer, University of California Press, Berkeley 1918] observes (page 135):
Whatever views we may hold in regard to individual stories, we must admit that Life’s Handicap marks a general advance in narrative art beyond the earlier volumes.Hart, an early critic, appreciates the improvement in Kipling’s technique which Kingsley Amis (1975) also notices with approval:
“The Courting of Dinah Shadd” and this story reintroduce the Soldiers and make suffering human beings of two of them; the frame-device also reappears , but trimmed down in both and properly related to the main narrative in the latter.Seymour-Smith (page 209) believes that this story shows Kipling at his best. Philip Mason (page 74) agrees: “The Courting of Dinah Shadd” (earlier in this volume) and this story are by some critics reckoned among the best stories Kipling ever wrote.