The Yoke (1907) by Hubert Wales

I’ve been thinking again recently about Kipling’s literary treatment of syphilis, so am looking around to see how other writers treated the theme during his lifetime. The most common approach is the moralistic: a sinner receives the wages of sin. There were alternatives, though, and I’ve just been reading The Yoke, a scandalous novel of […]

More on Kipling and Syphilis

Some more thoughts on this subject, partly as a response to Roger’s comment on my ‘Kipling and Syphilis’ post of a fortnight ago. How likely is it that syphilis is a theme of ‘Dayspring Mishandled’? It can at least be shown that venereal disease was a concern of Kipling’s throughout his career. As I suggested […]

Kipling and Syphilis

The June edition of the Kipling Journal arrived today, including a letter I wrote to the editor about the story ‘Dayspring Mishandled’ (collected in Limits and Renewals of 1932). I suggest that the hidden theme of the story is the subject of syphilis (unmentionable in the family-oriented magazines where Kipling’s work was usually published) . […]