Rudyard Kipling is an iconic English writer and winner the 1907 Noble Prize in Literature. Kipling lived a colorful life, and his travels and experiences clearly influenced and gave way to many of his works. The most notable include The Jungle Book, If, Just so stories, and Gunga Din. With that in mind, we’ve put together this list of free Rudyard Kipling audiobooks for you to enjoy.
Born in Bombay in British India in 1865, Kipling was sent to the UK at the age of 5 with his younger sister to attend school. He later returned to India when he was 16 to Lahore, where he worked as a Curator at Lahore museum and a journalist for British newspapers Civil and Military Gazette and The Pioneer. Throughout his adult life, Kipling traveled extensively to Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and America to name just a few. While in the States he met Mark Twain, who later gave great praise for the young writer, and by 1889 he was causing a stir in the literary world in London.
This list introduces a handful of novels, short stories, articles, and poems, for which have made Kipling one of the worlds most praised 19th-century writers.
Kipling’s most famous for writing The Jungle book. Mowgli is a young jungle boy, raised by wolves in the Indian Jungle. With memorable characters such as Baloo the bear, Hathi the elephant, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi the Indian mongoose and Shere Khan a Bengal Tiger, each chapter tells a story and uses the animals to give moral lessons.
From bridge building to Indian Mythology, this book is unique in it’s idea. After the construction of a bridge over the River Ganges, the Gods discuss their relationship with mankind, each with varying opinions. Meanwhile, two people in a hallucinogenic state can hear these conversations, opening up other questions about survival, faith and understanding. An inspiring read which draws parallels with British Colonization.
Set in different periods of English History, Puck of Pook’s Hill contains a series of short fantasy stories. These magical tales take you from the Roman and Saxon times through to the Middle Ages. Puck will take you on a historical adventure. For Harry Potter lovers, these books will appeal.
Peachy Carnahan and Daniel Dravot are two British adventurers in British India during the time of imperialism. They are trying to establish their own Kingdom in Afhganistan.
This work inspired the 1975 film by the same name starring Sean Connery. It’s a wild and exciting short tale that is crazy and brilliant at the same time.
Two men, two cultures, and an exotic backdrop set the scene for Kim. On the streets of Lahore towards the end of the 19-century we the find lonely British orphan boy. His widowed father was a drunkard and has since died, leaving Kim to fend for himself and slum it on the streets. After meeting the lama, a wonderful bond develops between the two. As the relationship grows, we see the old priest as a mentor for Kim.
“There is no sin so great as ignorance. Remember this.”
― Rudyard Kipling, Kim
The sequel to the Jungle Book contains five stories, three of which are unrelated. Not all stories follow Mowgli, but we do get to see him as an older man, The Master of the Jungle, along with some other familiar friends. The non-Mowgli stories are also a treat as it takes the reader further into jungle life. A must read for lovers of the original book.
This is a coming of age story about a boy from a rich background who falls overboard before being rescued by a passing fisherman’s ship. While on board, he learns some valuable lessons as he works the ship. This book delivers more of an important message rather than the grand adventures that Kipling is famous for.
This tells the story of two Orphan children, Dick and Maisie, who form a childhood relationship while in foster care. Dick eventually goes away to war and Maisie goes to study in France. The story continues 10 years later when Dick returns home to London after being injured in battle. Dick finds Maisie again by chance, but his unrequited love for her puts strain on their relationship.
As World War I entered it’s second year in 1915, Kipling made a tour of the French armed forces. Having already won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1907, he was well respected in the literary world and his articles at the time were helping to shape public opinion. His son, John Kipling, was killed while in battle just 10 days after this publication, making his reports on the war all that more fascinating. Also, the introductory poem in this collection highlights his love for France.
This collection of short stories are from Kipling’s formative years. Originally appearing in the Civil and Military Gazette when Kipling was in Lahore, the pieces were eventually published in his first collection. The book depicts colonial life and explores the difficulties it brings when race, class and sex are all put under the spotlight. The reader gets a firsthand insight into what life was like living in India under British rule.
This Kipling poem was written in 1895 and inspired by the military action of British Colonial politician, Leander Starr Jameson. It is a classic example of Victorian-era stoicism, and was Britain’s favorite poem in a 1995 BBC poll.
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