(notes edited by John McGivering and John Radcliffe. We are indebted to Professor Hugh Brogan for advice on a number of historical points)
... he had never stopped worrying about Germany, and the rise of Hitler and National Socialism confirmed his worst fears. One response was to remove the sign of the swastika from his books ... Another response, showing some prescience, was to lobby influential friends (including Baldwin) on the need for rearmament, air-raid shelters and other defensive measures .. However, he reserved his major warning for the speech – broadcast by the BBC – that he delivered to the (Royal) Society of St. George on 6th May 1935, the day of King George V’s Silver Jubilee.The speech ... ("An Undefended Island") is reported in The Times of Tuesday, 7th May 1935: Kipling's cousin Stanley Baldwin was Prime Minister at the time, and would certainly have read it, including this passionately felt passage:
...All pain, whether it comes from hitting one's head against a table or from improvising a four years' war at four days' notice, is evil. All evil is wicked, and since of all evils war gives the most pain to the most people, the wickedest of all things is war. Wherefore unless people wish to be thought wicked they must so order their national life that never again shall war in any form be possible...This, of course, meant being ready to resist the potential enemy. An address to the same Society in April 1920 when Kipling was in the Chair, is to be found in The Times of Saturday, April 24 1920, where it is headed “The Strength of England.” It is collected in A Book of Words (p. 175).
The most striking poem of warning ... deriving much of its power from the menace of the undefined. In Kipling’s own mind the ship in danger probably represented England threatened by the seas of German military aggression, but if so, the lines transcended their occasion, suggesting by the tragic intensity of the voice a threat of more existential proportions.See "On the Gate" in Debits and Credits, together with "Epitaphs of the War" and the verse collection The Years Between (1919).
To Arthur, Duke of Wellington,
and his brave companions in arms
this statue of Achilles
cast from cannons won at the victories
of Salmanaca, Vittoria, Toulouse and Waterloo
is inscribed by their countrymen
A blue line on the gums can be due to copper or lead poisoning; it could also be caused by bismuth and mercury which were used in the treatment of syphilis. I don't think it occurs in typhoid. [G.S.]water with which mules and dead men had had to do The water has been contiminated by bodies – see Dr. Gillian Sheehan’s notes on Typhoid.
Then ye returned to your trinkets; then ye contented your soulsIt is hard for modern readers to appreciate how seriously the British middle and upper classes took games, not a view shared by Kipling.
With the flannelled fools at the wicket or the muddied oafs at the goals.
'There is no truce with Adam-zad, the Bear that looks like a Man!'Stalin had been in power in Soviet Russia since 1924, and had embarked on a major programme of industrialisation and modernisation to make her invulnerable.