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Rewards and Fairies is a collection of stories and a sequel to Puck of Pook's Hill and, as Kipling wrote, 'The tales had to be read by children, before people realised they were meant for grown-ups'. Through the agency of Puck, two children - Dan and Una - meet a glittering array of historical characters from flint and iron age tribes to 'Good Queen Bess' and Sir Francis Drake. Other tales include stories of England following the Norman Conquest and the Europe of Napoleon and Talleyrand. Rewards and Fairies includes two of Kipling's best-loved and most quoted poems: 'The Way Through the Woods' and 'If-'
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Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was born in India, and spent the first six years of his life there, acquiring Hindustani as a second language and living in a bungalow like that in The Jungle Book. He was then sent to a boarding house in England with his sister Alice, where he had a miserable time until he was sent to The United Services College at Westward Ho! in Devon, the model for Stalky & Co. He left school at sixteen to return to India and work on The Civil and Military Gazette in Lahore, and his familiarity with all classes of society provided him with material for Barrack Room Ballads and Plain Tales from the Hills. In 1889 he returned to England and in 1891 published his novel The Light That Failed, and married Caroline (Carrie) Balestier the following year. They returned to her home Brattleboro, Vermont, where Kipling wrote the two Jungle Books and Captains Courageous. In 1896 the family returned to England, where Kipling continued to write prolifically, and was the first Englishman to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907. His later years were darkened by the death of his son John at the Battle of Loos in 1915. Kipling's long association with Macmillan began in 1891, with the publication of Life's Handicap and continued with most of Kipling's prose and children's works, available in multiple editions long after his death in 1936.
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