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date: 02 August 2021

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Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936) was an India-born British writer best known for his many volumes of short stories and of poetry, as well as his novel Kim (1901). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907. A champion of British imperialism, he ardently supported the entry in World War I – although his enthusiasm received a severe blow when news arrived of his son’s death in battle in September 1915. His book France at War, which was published in that year, was part of a series of stories commissioned by the British government in order to entertain the nation and promote support for the war effort by depicting the atrocities of the Germans, the heroism of the British men, and the steadfast courage of French and British women. Portions of the first chapter (“On the Frontier of Civilisation”) appear below.

From Rudyard Kipling, France at War. London. Macmillan, 1915.

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