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Something of Myself
Something of Myself,
For My Friends Known and Unknown

Rudyard Kipling
London, MacMillan and Company Limited, 1964.
First Edition February 1937.
237 pages with index.
Frontispiece portrait from a plaque by Patrick Synge-Hutchinson.
Jacket design by James Russell.
Although Freemasonry often appeared in his writings, Kipling was not active masonicly after his first few years. Written a year before his death, and published a year following, Kipling’s autobiography contained a number of references to the Craft, several of them rather tongue in cheek.
[Something of Myself]
"And somehow or other I came across a tale about a lion-hunter in South Africa who fell among lions who were all Freemasons, and with them entered into a confederacy against some wicked baboons. I think that, too, lay dorment until the Jungle Books began to be born." [p. 8]
And once he descended in broad daylight with a tube of 'Mummy Brown' in his hand, saying that he had discovered it was made of dead Pharaohs and we must bury it accordingly. So we all went out and helped--according to the rites of Mizraim and Memphis, I hope--and--to this day I could drive a spade within a foot of where the tube lies." [p. 13]
"In '85 I was made a Freemason by dispensation (Lodge Hope and Perserance 782 E.C.), being under age, because the Lodge hoped for a good Secretary. They did not get him, but I helped, and got the Father to advise, in decorating the bare walls of the Masonic Hall with hangings after the prescription of Solomon’s Temple. Here I met Muslems, Hindus, Sikhs, members of the Arya and Brahmo Samaj, and a Jew tyler, who was priest and butcher to his little community in the city. So yet another world opened to me which I needed." [p. 52-53]
"I had some notion of sailing from Auckland to visit Robert Louis Stevenson at Samoa, for he had done me the honour to write to me about some of my tales; and moreover I was Eminent Past Master R.L.S. Even to-day I would back myself to take seventy-five per cent marks in written or viva-voce examination on The Wrong Box which, as the Initiated know, is the Test Volume of that Degree." [p. 100]
"In the stillness, and suspense, of the winter of '92 some memory of the Masonic Lions of my childhood’s magazine, and a phrase in Haggard’s Nada the Lily, combined with the echo of this tale. After blocking out the main idea in my head, the pen took charge, and I watched it begin to write stories about Mowgli and animals, which later grew into the Jungle Books.
"Freemasonry, 52-3" [Index p. 234]


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