Kipling: how a writer found his voice

Kipling: how a writer found his voice

Kipling: how a writer found his voice

event Wednesday, May 12, 2021 schedule 7.00pm - 8.00pm BST
Booking closed
Booking closed
event Wednesday, May 12, 2021 schedule 7.00pm - 8.00pm BST
  • Bengal Tiger
A talk with Dr Sarah Shaw
Open to: 
Alumni and guests
Zoom | View details

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Dr Sarah Shaw is a Faculty Member at the Oriental Institute, University of Oxford, and an Honorary Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies. One of her key research interests is Indian and Asian influences on British nineteenth century writers, of whom Kipling is surely the most famous. Join Indus Experiences and Sarah as she gives an introduction to her proposed tour of India in November 2021.

Kipling’s Jungle Books and Just So Stories have engaged children – and adults – for years, mythologised through film, animation and song. Kipling drew on many sources for his tales about Mowgli, Shere Khan, Baloo, and other companions in the wild, jungly landscapes they inhabit. They, and the creatures who find special attributes in the Just So Stories, were inspired by his own childhood, and his encounters with animals and the natural environment in India. But they are informed too by a longstanding love for India's rich and ancient, orally transmitted story traditions too. In this talk we will have a look at how the influences of Kipling’s own childhood, and his passion for Indian culture and life, contributed to the formation of these great children’s classics. For Kipling, the sounds of India, the jungle and, importantly, the soothing voice of his Ayah, offered inspiration. In the stories he told his own child, we hear them too. We look at why his children’s books have exerted such a perennial appeal ever since.


7.00pm - Welcome from Claire Baxter and Kate Suares, Cambridge and Oxford Alumni Offices and Asiya Zargar, Indus Experiences

7.10pm - Talk from Dr Sarah Shaw

7.40pm - Q&A with Dr Shaw, facilitated by Asiya Zargar

8.00pm - Finish

This talk is part of the Oxford and Cambridge Universities Alumni Travel Programme and is organised by Indus Experiences who will be arranging the alumni tour to India with Dr Shaw.

This event will be recorded.

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United Kingdom