Book Description

Octavo (216 x 186mm), pp. [10], 274, [4 (blank)]. One full-page map and illustrations in the text illustrations after Janina Slater. (Small marginal mark on p. 261.) Original red boards, spine lettered in gilt, dustwrapper with illustration after Jonathan Wolstenholme, price-clipped. (Dustwrapper slightly creased at edges and with small scuff on lower panel.) A very good, clean copy.
Dealer Notes

First edition. Hopkirk’s study of the ‘Great Game’ in nineteenth-century India through his exploration of the original background of Rudyard Kipling’s Kim. ‘This book is for all those who love Kim – that masterpiece of Indian life in which Kipling immortalized the Great Game. Fascinated since childhood by this strange tale of an orphan boy’s recruitment into the Indian secret service, Peter Hopkirk here explores the many mysteries surrounding Kipling’s great novel. He shows that most of the characters – Kim himself, the old Tibetan lama, Colonel Creighton, Mahbub Ali, Lurgan Sahib and the Babu (or agent R 17) – were inspired, in whole or in part, by actual individuals. Likewise, its locations are real – all of them familiar to the young Kipling when, more than a century ago, he worked as a reporter on a Lahore newspaper. Although Hopkirk trailed Kim and the lama across India and Pakistan, this is less a travel book than a literary detective story. It is not even essential to have read Kim in order to enjoy it, for Kipling’s narrative is carefully sketched in as Hopkirk’s quest unfolds. Because its hero is a teenage boy, many people mistakenly believe Kim to be a children’s book. But nothing could be further from the truth, and modern critics judge it to be one of the finest novels in the English language, unsurpassed in many of its descriptive passages. For into it Kipling poured all his deeply felt passion for India. Hopkirk’s new book is an affectionate salute to Kim by one in whom it inspired a lifelong pursuit of the Great Game – “that never ceases day and night”, and still goes on today’ (dustwrapper blurb).
Author HOPKIRK, Peter
Date 1996
Publisher London: The University Press, Cambridge for John Murray

Price: £25.00

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