Since 1913 Magdalene College, Cambridge, has elected a succession
of outstanding figures in literature and the arts to honorary
fellowships of the college. On the occasion of his election in
1932, Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) presented the college with a
manuscript poem entitled 'To the Companion' which celebrated
Magdalene's best-known graduate, Samuel Pepys. After his death, his
widow, Caroline Kipling, bequeathed the present collection of
manuscript poems - many of them redrafted and corrected, and thus
giving insights into Kipling's creative process - to the college.
The bound volume comprises some twenty-eight poems in all
(including multiple versions of key stanzas of 'The White Man's
Burden'), together with a fragment of an unpublished poem entitled
'The Song of the Engine'. Its publication in the Cambridge Library
Collection makes the poems available to the scholar, the Kipling
enthusiast, and the general reader.
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