Kipling had quite an effect on Canada. There is even a town in Saskatchewan named after him.
My father was always happy to recount that he met RK during a Canadian tour while he was in Fredericton.
One time, while writing an essay for a Myth and Symbolism class I was taking, I went off to the Harriet Irving Library at UNB to look up a quote that had stayed with me - a reference to England existing so long as "Oak, ash and thorn"
grow on its' shores. It is in a book called Puck of Pook's Hill"
There was quite a bit of commotion when I asked for the book ... but it was eventually brought to me. The commotion was that it was a signed copy
of his latest book that the great man had given to the Library, no doubt when he revived from swapping stories with Dad.
I recently read a reference to the book as an example of a time of innocence just before the great militarist expansion leading to WWI - Puck of Pook's Hill
was published and the Dreadnought
had not been launched. (1906)
My appreciation of Kipling only increased when I learn of him and the Poet Laureate
position. The war party in Britain (g'day Mr. Churchill) wanted to arouse enthusiasm for the war. Who better to do that than the Poet of the Empire, R. Kipling?Big mistake: they did not read Kipling .... he sided with the English Tommy and the common man, and could enunciate things like "You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din..." - celebrating the humanity of an individual, not the politics.The other mistake was to send him over to the trenches in France. He was so shocked at the conditions that when he returned he was loudly and publically anti-war. They could not revoke his Laureate-ship, but they managed to side line him from public engagements.