Rudyard Kipling 'admitted to plagiarism in Jungle Book'

Last Updated 04 May 2018, 10:38 IST

Rudyard Kipling, India-born famed author of 'The Jungle Book', in a letter has admitted to plagiarising some of his best known works, including parts of the iconic children's book.

A letter by the author has surfaced in which he has admitted that, "it is extremely possible that I have helped myself promiscuously" from other stories when writing 'The Jungle Book'.

The signed letter, written in 1895, admits that the writer may have helped himself "promiscuously" to the works of others in his account of the Law of the Jungle, which features in the Jungle Book.

The letter is now up for sale, The Telegraph reported. "I have been absent from home for some days. Hence the delay in answering yours of no date, in regard to my account of the Law of the Jungle," the letter, addressed to an unknown woman, reads.

"I am afraid that all that code in its outlines has been manufactured to meet 'the necessities of the case': though a little of it is bodily taken from (Southern) Esquimaux rules for the division of spoils", it says.

"In fact, it is extremely possible that I have helped myself promiscuously but at present cannot remember from whose stories I have stolen. Very sincerely, Rudyard Kipling," it adds.

The letter has been listed for auction by Andrusier Autographs, with a 2,500 pounds price tag. Autograph expert Adam Andrusier said: "Letters by Kipling that mention his most enduring work are extremely rare."

Andrusier bought the letter from another dealer, Jarndyce Antiquarian Booksellers, in May.

The store said the letter was found amongst a collection of uncategorised books and letters they had, and was discovered and listed in April for the New York Book fair, before being bought by Andrusier.

The Jungle Book, one of Kipling's most famous short stories, was written in 1894.
Kipling died in 1936, aged 70.

(Published 30 May 2013, 15:31 IST)

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