Originally written for the Lahore Civil and Military Gazette, the stories were intended for a provincial readership familiar with the pleasures and miseries of colonial life. For the subsequent English edition, Kipling revised the tales so as to recreate as vividly as possible the sights and smells of India for those at home. Yet far from being a celebration of Empire, Kipling's stories tell of 'heat and bewilderment and wasted effort and broken faith'. He writes brilliantly and hauntingly about the barriers between the races, the classes and the sexes; and about innocence, not transformed into experience but implacably crushed.
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