"Kipling’s final fictional work on India presents a fascinating collection of ‘letters’ telling the story of how four Indian soldiers of different backgrounds and their loved ones confronted the horrors of the Great War"
The touching stories in The Eyes of Asia are narrated through a series of imagined letters penned by four Indian Army soldiers in the blood-drenched battlefields of war-torn Europe and Africa, and makeshift hospitals on England's coastline, to their loved ones back home in the relative peace of rural British India and the North-West Frontier Province.
Kipling brings the experiences of these uneducated Sikh, Hindu and Muslim military men to life, weaving the horrors of a foreign war like no other with acts of kindness arising from cultural encounters with French farmers and British military personnel.
Through unofficial access to translations of scores of intercepted Indian Army letters, Kipling gained an intimate understanding of the plight and humanity of men neglected in Western literature after the War. To Kipling, they were unsung heroes whose sacrifices had made a decisive impact on the British war effort.
First published in 1917, this illustrated centennial edition is introduced by an acknowledged authority on both Kipling in India and the Indian historical scene.
About the Author
CHARLES ALLEN is a historian, broadcaster and author of over twenty books on the Indian subcontinent who is regarded as 'One of the most consistently enjoyable writers on India' (William Dalrymple).
He has a recorded family association with India that goes back to 1857 and has written bestsellers including his first work, Plain Tales from the Raj (1975), and Kipling Sahib: India and the Making of Rudyard Kipling (2007).
He recently featured in the BBC documentary film Kipling's Indian Adventure, which reassessed Kipling's life and adventures in Lahore and their impact on his literature.