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Re: IF
By:jawaid ahmed, uk
Date: Thursday, 5 April 2012, 1:41 pm
In Response To: IF (Muhammad Rafi Karachi)

For the unlikely truth is that they were composed by the Indian-born Kipling to celebrate the achievements of a man betrayed and imprisoned by the British Government - the Scots-born colonial adventurer Dr Leander Starr Jameson.

Although it may not seem so to the millions who can recite its famous first line ('If you can keep your head when all about you'), If is also a bitter condemnation of the British Government led by Lord Salisbury, and the duplicity of its Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain, for covertly supporting Dr Jameson's raid against the Boers in South Africa's Transvaal in 1896, only to condemn him when the raid failed.

Kipling was a friend of Jameson and was introduced to him, so scholars believe, by another colonial friend and adventurer: Cecil Rhodes, the financier and statesman who extracted a vast fortune from Britain's burgeoning African empire by taking substantial stakes in both diamond and gold mines in southern Africa.

In Kipling's autobiography, Something Of Myself, published in 1937, the year after his death at the age of 70, he acknowledges the inspiration for If in a single reference: 'Among the verses in Rewards was one set called If - they were drawn from Jameson's character, and contained counsels of perfection most easy to give.'


Messages In This Thread

Muhammad Rafi Karachi -- Thursday, 5 April 2012, 8:07 am
Re: IF
jawaid ahmed, uk -- Thursday, 5 April 2012, 1:41 pm