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Kipling, Rudyard (1865-1936)  
page: 1  2  3  4  

Consider, for example, Kipling's description of the "singular, though unwashen, beauty" of the eponymous hero of Kim, and of the boy's recurring need to resist the sexual advances of women, particularly the Woman of Shamlegh. Referring to the Buddhist commitment to the path of righteousness and to the British attempt to enlist him in their undercover operations, Kim wonders "How can a man follow the Way or the Great Game when he is so-always pestered by women?" Kim himself proves a distraction to others, as when a Hindu boy, threatened by Kim's arrival in Lurgan Sahib's household, irrationally poisons his beloved master from jealousy.

Perhaps nowhere else does Kipling articulate the powerful emotional bond that exists between men in a homosocial environment than in the moving monologue, "Follow Me 'Ome," in which one soldier laments the recent loss of his comrade. The speaker juxtaposes the loyalty of the dead man's horse, which "won't take 'er feed 'cause o' waitin' for 'is step," with the alacrity with which the dead man's girlfriend has found herself a new lover, "which is just what a girl would do." Such misogyny is the inevitable corollary of homosocial affection. "Oh, passin' the love o' women," the speaker exclaims at the close of the poem, echoing biblical David's lament for his beloved friend, Jonathan, and investing his love for the dead man with tragic grandeur.

Raymond-Jean Frontain

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literature >> Overview:  The Bible

Perhaps no other book has been more influential--for better or worse--in determining the construction of gay and lesbian identity in the modern world, as well as social attitudes toward homosexuality, than the Bible.

literature >> Overview:  English Literature: Nineteenth Century

From its beginning, the nineteenth century in England had a purposeful homosexual literature of considerable bulk, both male and female, though it was fettered by oppression.

literature >> Overview:  English Literature: Twentieth-Century

Homosexuality, both male and female, has a rich, divergent, and increasingly open expression in the literature of the twentieth century.

social sciences >> Overview:  India

Indian thought towards same-sex eroticism and gender variance was more tolerant in the past than it is today.

arts >> Overview:  Subjects of the Visual Arts: David and Jonathan

It is not surprising, since the Bible insists that David be looked at and admired, that he should emerge in Western art as the incarnation of male physical attractiveness, especially as rendered by Michelangelo.

literature >> Forster, E. M.

One of the finest English novelists of the twentieth century and a tireless defender of humane values, Forster deserves a special place in the gay and lesbian literary heritage.

literature >> James, Henry

Though closeted, Henry James had a number of intimate relations with young men, and his sexual orientation imbued his fiction.

literature >> Jewett, Sarah Orne

Sarah Orne Jewett is a major figure in the literature of female romantic friendship, the precursor of modern lesbian literature.

social sciences >> Rhodes, Cecil

Throughout his adult life, Cecil Rhodes, one of nineteenth-century Britain's most ambitious imperialists, conducted romantic friendships with younger male associates.

literature >> Wilson, Sir Angus

Scattered throughout the novels and short stories of Sir Angus Wilson are a number of gay characters who are presented from a decidedly nonapologetic gay viewpoint.


Aldrich, Robert. Colonialism and Homosexuality. London: Routledge, 2003.

Edel, Leon. "A Young Man from the Provinces: Rudyard Kipling and Wolcott Baleister." The Age of Kipling. John Gross, ed. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1972. 63-70.

Gilmour, David. The Long Recessional: The Imperial Life of Rudyard Kipling. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002.

Kaye, M. M. "Foreword." Rudyard Kipling: The Complete Verse. London: Kyle Cathie, 2002. xvii-xxix.

Ricketts, Harry. Rudyard Kipling: A Life. New York: Carroll and Graf, 2000.

Seymour-Smith, Martin. Rudyard Kipling: A Biography. 2nd ed. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989.

Wilson, Angus. The Strange Ride of Rudyard Kipling: His Life and Works. New York: Viking, 1978.


    Citation Information
    Author: Frontain, Raymond-Jean  
    Entry Title: Kipling, Rudyard  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2005  
    Date Last Updated July 24, 2006  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2005, glbtq, inc.  


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