Dear All,

I remember thoroughly enjoying  Rudyard Kipling to Rider Haggard, the Record of a Friendship and spending a while trying to find Haggard's house at Kessingland (it was demolished some time after 1928...)

Also on the shelves at Haileybury we have Higgins, D.S.  Private Diaries of Sir H. Rider Haggard: 1914-1925 Stein and Day 1980. I found this interesting partly because of the sections of the diaries omitted, because of their venomous racist content.

All the best,


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On Tue, Jun 19, 2018 at 9:17 AM Alastair Wilson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

I have just finished reading, with great pleasure, Morton Cohen's 1965 book Rudyard Kipling to Rider Haggard, the Record of a Friendship, which I can heartily recommend to anyone who has not yet read it.  (There are a number of second-hand copies to be found on-line at Abebooks, for under £10, including postage).

    In particular, there was  revealed more of Kipling's spiritual thoughts than I have found in any of the biographies I have read.  We know he was not great on conventional religious observance -  from Carrie's diaries it is evident that both went only to church when they were taken by their host(ess) on a week-end visit - the impression I receive is that they went reluctantly, on these occasions - the very fact that Carrie recorded them in her diary suggests this.

    The book is based on the two men's letters: some, but not all, I think, are also contained in Prof. Tom Pinney's volumes of Kipling's letters, but of course Haggard's letters are not.  What I found of great interest was/were entries from Haggard's diaries, recording at first hand his conversations with RK. 

    I found it interesting that the impression gained is that Haggard was a very frequent visitor to Bateman's, much more so than appears from Carrie's diaries.  If I get the opportunity, I must have a look in the Visitor's books at Sussex, to carry out a count.

    It seems to me that Kipling clearly believed in a Deity, the Creator of all things (whom he often invoked as 'Allah') but had no great religious faith, although he attended weddings, funerals, memorial services and national commemorations, more as social occasions than anything else.

Alastair Wilson

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