Rudyard Kipling – He Who Loved Jane

Oil in canvas of Rudyard Kipling by Sir Philip Burne Jones in 1899. Born in Bombay, India on December 30, 1865. He died January 18, 1936.

Jane lies in Winchester, blessed be her shade!
Praise the Lord for making her, and her for all she made.
And, while the stones of Winchester – or Milsom Street – remain,
Glory, Love, and Honour unto England’s Jane!

How much admiration our dear Jane inspired after her death. One of them is the gentleman in the picture below –  the author of these beautiful words above – Rudyard Kipling.


Rudyard Kipling was a British author and poet best known for his works of fiction such as The Jungle Book, short stories, including The Man Who Would Be King; and poems. Among them a poem to Jane entitled “Jane’s Marriage” and a short story entitled “Janeites”. Kipling was not the first to use the term. The term Janeite was initially coined by the male literary critic George Saintsbury (who used a different spelling – Janite) in his 1894 introduction to a new edition of Pride & Prejudice (According to Deidre Lynch in “Cult of Jane Austen”). But over 30 years later in 1926,  Rudyard Kipling cemented the term writing a short story entitled “The Janeites” that describes a group of soldiers brought together by their passion for the works of Austen. You can read it on the link below:


The story is neither far-fetched nor bizarre even though one might wonder why Mr. Kipling wrote about WWI soldiers and Jane Austen in the same story. It just so happened she was actually prescribed to shell shock victims after the First World War as an antidote to this terrible mental trouble (today known as PTSD). Yes! Our dear Jane is – among other things – good old medicine to troubled minds. She really is a balm to the senses. Then and still now. I often come across accounts of people that are battling cancer or different kinds of hardship that find solace in her books and another Janeite is born.

Soldiers reading Jane Austen after the war has been compared to people flocking to watch reruns of Friends after 9/11. After a great shock we all need something that is right, that makes sense. Something that can restore your inner sense of balance in life.


The next link brings you the poem “Jane’s Marriage”  followed by a comprehensive text written by James Heldman from the Department of English, Western Kentucky University in a JASNA publication Persuasions #10, 1988 .



Bateman’s, a Jacobean house – the lovely 17th century building in deepest Sussex, where Rudyard Kipling spent his remaining years (from 1902-1936). It’s administered by the National Trust. One more location for your bucket list! See details in the link below:

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