Rudyard Kipling's autobiography, Something of Myself, was the author's last work, but it has not received the serious attention it deserves. Thomas Pinney's edition of the work, supplemented by other autobiographical pieces, aims to change that. Professor Pinney, a leading textual editor currently engaged on Kipling's letters, has consulted the available source material relating to Something of Myself. He has constructed an outline of the book's composition; described the history of its publication; established a text and a set of variants; and given a critical account of the book's design and its main themes. His annotations to the work (and to the supplementary pieces) identify references and allusions, and provide a biographical context against which Kipling's selections, omissions, and distortions may clearly be seen. The extent to which Kipling's description of his life failed to match what actually happened is extraordinary. Two of the additional items presented here (Kipling's Indian diary of 1885 and the illustrations he made for his autobiographical story, 'Baa Baa, Black Sheep') are previously unpublished.
Pinney shows how they, and other forms of autobiographical writing, reflect upon or complicate the narrative of Something of Myself. This carefully prepared edition sheds new light on Kipling as a man and writer.
Table of Contents
Introduction; Abbreviations and short titles; Something of Myself (1937): 1. A very young person; 2. The school before its time; 3. Seven years' hard; 4. The interregnum; 5. The committee of ways and means; 6. South Africa; 7. The very-own house; 8. Working-tools; Baa, Baa, Black Sheep (1888); My first book (1892); An English School (1893); Kipling's Diary, 1885; Notes; Glossary of Anglo-Indian words and phrases; Index.