Sunday, 12 May 2013

Bateman's, Home of Rudyard Kipling

I renewed my membership to the National Trust today and visited Bateman's, the former home of Rudyard Kipling.

 Kipling was a prolific poet and author, some of his most famous works include The Jungle Book, Kim and Just So Stories. He enjoyed enormous critical success, became an international celebrity and was one of the first authors to earn a million.

 At uni I studied Kim, the basic plot is a young Irish orphan living in India befriends a Buddhist Lama and is recruited into espionage by the British rulers. It's a while since I read it,  but I remember finding the descriptions of a British lad growing up in India interesting, as my family has links to the country. The views on colonialism and casual racism are a product of the time. The novel was written when the empire was a point of pride, but nowadays sentiments in the novel make uncomfortable reading. A selection of Kipling's works can be bought at the gift shop of the property.

Fittingly for the family home of an author, there are loads of books dotted about and Kipling's desk, where he did a lot of his writing, is nicely chaotic and cluttered with various mementoes from his travels. Have a look after the jump for more pictures:-

Rudyard's study

me sat in one of the many book nooks 
I think these spines are pretty. Some of the the others had marbled pages

Kipling's desk, it has various tusks, horns and maps on it 

Of course we had to stop off for a bit of chocolate cake 
If you're in the area, I recommend you pay it a visit. Bateman's is a lovely Jacobean house and the gardens are just starting to flower. The literary connection made the house even more appealing to me, and I can imagine it would be an inspiring place to write.

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