The Portable Kipling contains selections from The Jungle Books and Soldiers Three; more than twenty stories, including "The Man Who Would Be King," "The Cat that Walked by Himself," "The Eye of Allah," and the unsettling "Mary Postgate"; more than fifty poems; and three essays. The volume also includes a complete chronology and a critical introduction by Irving Howe that permits us to see the formal achievements of Kipling's work as well as to enjoy its abundant pleasures-not least of which is the sheer satisfaction of great storytelling.
Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay in 1865. During his time at the United Services College, he began to write poetry, privately publishing Schoolboy Lyrics in 1881. The following year he started work as a journalist in India, and while there produced a body of work, stories, sketches, and poems -including "Mandalay," "Gunga Din," and "Danny Deever"-which made him an instant literary celebrity when he returned to England in 1889. While living in Vermont with his wife, an American, Kipling wrote The Jungle Books, Just So Stories, and Kim-which became widely regarded as his greatest long work, putting him high among the chronicles of British expansion. Kipling returned to England in 1902, but he continued to travel widely and write, though he never enjoyed the literary esteem of his early years. In 1907, he became the first British writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize. He died in 1936