The Gray Man by S. R. Crockett


The Gray Man by S. R. Crockett

A great adventure a story based on the historical feud of the Kennedys in 16th century Ayrshire. Mixing in the myth of the cannibal Sawney Bean. The language is mostly lowland Scots, and is a real delight.

This is a deeply funny book with an affectionately-portrayed narrator, a young boy, Launcelot Kennedy, who dreams of becoming a knight like his namesake. The chapter headings are delicious, entitled ‘The Adventure of the Garden’ and ‘The Murder Among the Sandhills’ and the like; as such the story is reminiscent of the thrilling adventure stories of the period written by the likes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Jules Verne.


Under the Deodars by Rudyard Kipling

Under the Deodars by Rudyard Kipling

A collection of short stories by Rudyard Kipling.
Contents: The education of Otis Yeere — At the pit s mouth — A wayside comedy — The hill of illusion — A second-rate woman — Only a subalter — In the matter of a private.

The Education of Otis Yeere
Mrs. Hauksbee decides to start a salon in Simla, but Mrs. Mallowe talks her out of it. She then explains to Mrs. Hauksbee that she’s experiencing a mid-life crisis and that she came out of her own by becoming an Influence in the life of a young man.

At the Pit’s Mouth
The wife of a man who is serving in the plains of India, leaving her alone in Simla, enters into an extra-marital affair with a ‘Tertium quid’. They often rendezvous at the cemetery.

A Wayside Comedy
Major and Mrs. Vansuythen come to live at the station of Kashima. After a time, Mrs. Boulte comes to suspect that her husband has fallen for Mrs. Vansuythen.

The Hill of Illusion
A man just come back from the plains of India to see his fiancee, but becomes jealous when he learns that she has been keeping appointments with other men while he has been away.

A Second-rate Woman
Mrs. Hauksbee gossips with Mrs. Mallowe and is highly critical of Mrs. Delville, whom she calls ‘The Dowd’ (on account of her out-of-style dress), and a man whom she calls ‘The Dancing Master’ (because he dances so poorly), who seems to be courting her.

Only a Subaltern
Bobby Wick is made a subaltern and he joins a regiment called the Tyneside Tail Twisters. One of the soldiers, Dormer, has a temper and is constantly getting into trouble. Bobby takes him fishing and makes friends with him, eventually inspiring him to improve his behaviour and become a better soldier.

In the Matter of a Private
A soldier in barracks snaps under repeated teasing and takes his rifle to his tormentor.

The City of Dreadful Night by Rudyard Kipling

The City of Dreadful Night by Rudyard Kipling

A short novel by Rudyard Kipling set in Calcutta.

Contains an account of his visit to a government operated opium factory in India, The Ghazipur Factory. “the precious cakes that are to replenish the coffers of the Indian Government.”

The Naulahka by Rudyard Kipling and Wolcott Balestier

The Naulahka by Rudyard Kipling

Kate Sheriff, a young American woman, knew without a shadow of a doubt what her calling was. She was to move to India where she would dedicate herself to improving the condition of Indian women. In her ensuing struggle to lay aside her favoured Western lifestyle, and her adjustments to life in the Indian subcontinent, Kipling presents east and west side by side and reveals the complex, often tangled nature of the two.

This adventure novel was written in collaboration with Wolcott Balestier and serialised in the Century Magazine from November 1891 to July 1892. However, after two instalments, Wolcott suddenly died from typhoid in Dresden on 5th December 1891, and Kipling was left with the task of revising and supervising the first English and American book editions.

Soldiers Three and Other Stories by Rudyard Kipling

Soldiers Three and Other Stories by Rudyard Kipling

This 1899 collection of short stories concerns the soldiers Learoyd, Mulvaney and Ortheris, who had also appeared previously in the collection Plain Tales from the Hills.

The Soldiers Three and other stories, consists of three sections which each had previously received separate publication in 1888; Learoyd, Mulvaney and Ortheris appear only in the first section, which is also titled Soldiers Three. The books reveal a side of the British Tommy in Afghanistan rarely seen in the Twilight of the British Empire. The soldiers comment on their betters, act the fool, but cut straight to the rawness of war in the mid-east as the British began to loosen their Imperial hold.