Endpiece, by John Lockwood Kipling (1837-1911). This illustration is, of course, the final one in Kipling's Beast and Man in India (1891). It may be likened to the earlier Outcastes, which also contrasts with the more exotic illustrations, and shows the darker side of Indian life. Crows are descending on and apparently already pecking at someone's dying ox (notice the brand on its upper foreleg), and many more flying in for the feast, the whole episode taking place in a dreary rainswept landscape on a river bank. The picture was praised by the Athenaeum reviewer as "ghastly, but sadly true" (qtd. in James 373). It is not pleasant to dwell on, because the poor creature is still alive, but after all the scavenger birds are performing their usual important function of waste disposal.
The anonymous Athenaeum review mentioned above is in the issue of 13 February 1892, under the heading "Science." It is very laudatory, and ends by saying that the book was "read with enjoyment and reviewed with pleasure" (217). This suggests that the stereotyping or even caricaturing of Indians in Kipling's text, which sometimes extends to what we would now decry as downright racism, expressed prevailing attitudes. Sandra Kemp treats this difficult subject very objectively in her chapter on Kipling's journalism — see especially pp. 307-09.
Scanned image, and commentary, by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use the image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the person who scanned it and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. [Click on the image to enlarge it.]
Bryant, Julius, and Susan Weber, eds. John Lockwood Kipling: Arts and Crafts in the Punjab and London. New York: Bard Graduate Centre Gallery; New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2017.
James, Elizabeth. "Kipling and Book Illustration." In Bryant and Weber. 361-399.
Kemp, Sandra. "My Bread and Butter: Kipling's Journalism." In Bryant and Weber. 301-27.
Kipling, John Lockwood. Beast and Man in India: A Popular Sketch of Indian Animals in Their Relations with the People. London: Macmillan, 1891. Internet Archive. Contributed by the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh. Web. 22 January 2017.
"Science." The Athenaeum (1892). Internet Archive." Contributed by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Web. 23 January 2017.
Created 22 January 2017