Case Bound Book

Rudyard Kipling In An Opium Factory

A6 case bound book. This is a piece of technical journalism which Kipling appears to have disavowed or disowned. He did not include it in his collected works and the article was found in an ‘attic discovery’ – a copy of the original magazine in which it appeared – in Australia in 2002. It is a detailed description of how opium was produced in the 19th century, for sale to the Chinese market. The young Kipling is morally repulsed and indignant. He may have suppressed it in his later years because the article is potentially subversive. The small book includes his first published story The Gate of the Hundred Sorrows which is set in an opium den. It seems precocious for an 18-year-old journalist in Lahore but gives a glimpse of why Kipling became the first English writer to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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