Thursday, 9 August 2001

Rudyard Kipling: Rewards and Fairies (1910)

Edition: Wordsworth, 1995 (Buy from Amazon)
Review number: 899

While Rewards and Fairies is a sequel to Puck of Pook's Hill, it is probably much better known as the original home of Kipling's most famous poem, If -. Myself, I don't like the poem very much - it's too much the sort of "uplifting" thing children used to be forced to learn in school.

The format is identical to that of its predecessor, as Puck introduces the two children to a series of people - all male - who illustrate the history of Sussex, where Kipling himself lived in the latter part of his life. The tales this time, which range back right to the end of the Bronze Age, are not so interesting, and the collection as a whole has a perfunctory feel, as though Kipling doesn't care.

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