Kipling comes to Kashi House


Rudyard Kipling's last book on India is a poignant insight into the plight of Indian soldiers in the Great War.

The Eyes of Asia is a forgotten classic first published in 1917. This centennial edition, complete with a wonderful introduced by acclaimed historian, author and Kipling expert, Charles Allen, comes as the world again remembers the fallen this Remembrance weekend.

Charles’ insightful essay brings to light the background of the Indian Army’s role on the Western Front and Kipling’s interest and advocacy for them during and after the war when he was a member of the then Imperial War Graves Commission.

With several unpublished illustrations and a map, the book serves as a way of learning about the role of the Indian Army during the 'war to end all wars' and the men who served in it. It also illuminates Kipling’s time in India, in particular in the Punjab, as well as to how he came to write in so convincing a manner a series of ‘letters’ to and from four imagined Indian combatants and their families back home.

Images: Rudyard Kipling at the inauguration of the Indian Memorial at Neuve Chapelle, France, 7 October 1927 (photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images) // Charles Allen