Plain Tales from the Hills (published 1888) is the first collection of short stories by Rudyard Kipling. Out of its 40 stories, "eight-and-twenty", according to Kipling's Preface, were initially published in the Civil and Military Gazette in Lahore, Punjab, British India between November 1886 and June 1887. "The remaining tales are, more or less, new." (Kipling had worked as a journalist for the CMG-his first job-since 1882, when he was not quite 17.)
The title refers, by way of a pun on "Plain" as the reverse of "Hills", to the deceptively simple narrative style; and to the fact that many of the stories are set in the Hill Station of Simla-the "summer capital of the British Raj" during the hot weather. Not all of the stories are, in fact, about life in "the Hills": Kipling gives sketches of many aspects of life in British India.
The tales include the first appearances, in book form, of Mrs. Hauksbee, the policeman Strickland, and the Soldiers Three (Privates Mulvaney, Ortheris and Learoyd).
In the preface to his short stories collection "Dr. Brodie's Report", Jorge Luis Borges wrote he was inspired by the quality and conciseness of Plain Tales from the Hills. (wikipedia.org)
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About the Author
Jan Montefiore (series editor) is a professor of twentieth-century English literature at the University of Kent. She is the author of Men and Women Writers of the 1930s (1996); Arguments of Heart and Mind: Selected Essays 1977–2000 (2002); Feminism and Poetry (3rd edition, 2004); and Rudyard Kipling (2007).
Kaori Nagai (editor/introducer) is a Lecturer in Victorian Literature at the University of Kent and author of Empire of Analogies (2006) and Imperial Beast Fables (2020).
Table of Contents
Lispeth -- Three and--an extra -- Thrown away -- Miss Youghal's sais -- Yoked with an unbeliever -- False dawn -- The rescue of Pluffles -- Cupid's arrows -- His chance in life -- Watches of the night -- The other man -- Consequences -- The conversionof Aurelian McGoggin -- A germ destroyer -- Kidnapped -- The arrest of Liutenanat Golightly -- The house of Suddhoo -- His wedded wife -- The broken link handicapped -- Beyond the pale -- In error -- A bank fraud -- Tod's amendment -- In the pride of his youth -- Pig -- The rout of the White Hussars -- The Bronckhorst divorce-case -- Venus Annodomini -- The Bisara of poorer -- The gate of a hundred sorrows -- The story of Muhammid Din -- On the strength of a likeness -- Wressley of the Foreign Office -- By word of mouth -- To be held for reference.