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Rudyard Kipling was an English author, famous for his works: Just So Stories, The Jungle Book and "Gunga Din." He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907.
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The job offered Kipling a good excuse to discover his surroundings. Nighttime, especially, proved to be valuable for the young writer. Kipling was a man of two worlds, somebody who was accepted by both his British counterparts and the local population. Suffering from insomnia,
he roamed the city streets and gained access to the brothels and opium dens that rarely opened their doors to common Englishmen.
Kipling's experiences during this time formed the backbone for a series of stories he began to write and publish. They were eventually assembled into a collection of 40 short stories called Plain Tales from the Hills, which gained wide popularity in England.
In 1889, seven years after he had left England, Kipling returned to its shores in hopes of leveraging the modest amount of celebrity his book of short stories had earned him. In London, he met Wolcott Balestier, an American agent and publisher who quickly became one of Kipling's great friends and supporters. The two men grew incredibly close, and even traveled together to the United States, where Balestier introduced his fellow writer to his childhood home of Brattleboro, Vermont.
Around this time, Kipling's star power started to grow. In addition to Plain Tales from the Hills, Kipling also published a second collection of short stories, Wee Willie Winkie (1888), and American Notes (1891), which chronicled his early impressions of America. In 1892, he also published his first major poetry success, Barrack-Room Ballads.
Kipling's friendship with Balestier changed the young writer's life. He soon got to know Balestier's family, in particular his sister, Carrie. The two appeared to be just friends, but during the Christmas holiday in 1891, Kipling, who had traveled back to India to see his family, received an urgent cable from Carrie. Wolcott had died suddenly of typhoid fever and Carrie needed Kipling to be with her.
Kipling rushed back to England, and within eight days of his return, the two married at a small ceremony, attended by American writer Henry James.
Following their wedding, the Kiplings set off on an adventurous honeymoon that took them to Canada and then on to Japan. But like so much of Kipling's life, good fortune was accompanied by hard luck. During the Japanese leg of the journey, Kipling learned that the New Oriental Banking Corporation had failed. The Kiplings were broke.
Left only with what they had with them, the young couple decided to travel to Brattleboro, Vermont, where much of Carrie's family still resided. Kipling fell in love with life in the States, and the two decided to settle there. In the spring of 1891, the Kiplings purchased from Carrie's brother, Beatty, a piece of land just north of Brattleboro and had a large home constructed, which they called "The Naulahka."
Kipling seemed to adore his new life, which soon saw the Kiplings welcome their first child, a daughter named Josephine (born in 1893), and a second daughter, Elsie (born in 1896). A third child, John, was born in 1897, after the Kiplings had left America.
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