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Kim (book)

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Rudyard Kipling No. 1 by William Strang 1898.jpg
Kipling by Willian Strang, 1898
AuthorRudyard Kipling
IllustratorH.R. Millar
CountryUnited Kingdom
PublisherMcClure's Magazine (in serial)
Macmillan & Co (single volume)
Publication date
October 1901
Media typePrint (Serial & Hardcover)

Kim is a famous children's book. It is a novel by the Nobel Prize winning English writer, Rudyard Kipling. It was first published in 1901.


The book is set after the Second Anglo-Afghan War which ended in 1881, but before the Third, probably in the period 1893–98[1] The novel is notable for its detailed picture of the people, culture, and varied religions of India.


The novel tells the story of a young Irish orphan, Kimball O'Hara, better known as 'Kim'.[2] He is living in British India and brought up by his ayah (nursemaid) in the old Punjabi city of Lahore (now in Pakistan).[3] Kim meets a Buddhist Lama (priest) and has many exciting adventures, traveling along the Grand Trunk Road. Some other interesting characters in this story are Mahbub Ali, Colonel Creighton, Lurgan-sahib and Hurree Chandar Mukerjee.[3]

Critical View

Kim is Kipling's most important work[4] and a significant work about India and the British Raj, and the famous 'Great Game' of espionage played there between the British Empire and Russia in the 19th century. It is also his most 'enchanting' prose work and may well be compared to other great English literary classics by Geoffrey Chaucer, Shakespeare and Charles Dickens.


  1. Ann Parry, "Recovering the connection between Kim and Contemporary History", in Kipling, Rudyard, Kim 2002, p. 310.
  2. Omer Tarin, 'My Quest for Mahbub Ali' in the Kipling Journal, UK, June 2008, pp 10-22
  3. 3.0 3.1 Tarin, aa
  4. J Montefiore, Rudyard Kipling:Critical Readings London:Northcote, 2007, p.81;

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    ISBN 978-0-7463-0827-1