Kipling’s Visit and the Early Reception of His Books in Australia (1889-1900)
Since Kipling was no ordinary traveller, his actual exploits and his early reputation among the Australians are both of interest. A study of the reception of the newly discovered bard of the Empire may be expected to reveal basic orientations, fundamental criteria and currents of argument in the Australian literary debates of the nineties. Kipling's image of man (which had become famous, popular and successful beyond England and America) and, moreover, the artistic presentation of his creed can be seen as a touchstone for Australian concepts of life and art during the vital phase of self-searching and self-definition. Thus the Australian reception of Kipling's visit and of his work may yield more than an exotic subplot to the turn-of-the-century colonial debates on nationalism, socialism and realism which have helped to determine certain features of the Australian mental outlook to this day. Therefore, reviewing reviews and retracing the traces which Kipling left in Australia has more than a curiosity interest.
Please sign in to access this article and the rest of our archive.