In an issue of the London World in April, 1890, there appeared
the following paragraph: "Two small rooms connected by a tiny
hall afford sufficient space to contain Mr. Rudyard Kipling, the
literary hero of the present hour, 'the man who came from
nowhere,' as he says himself, and who a year ago was consciously
nothing in the literary world."
Six months previous to this Mr. Kipling, then but twenty-four
years old, had arrived in England from India to find that fame
had preceded him. He had already gained fame in India, where
scores of cultured and critical people, after reading
"Departmental Ditties," "Plain Tales from the Hills," and various
other stories and verses, had stamped him for a genius.
Fortunately for everybody who reads, London interested and
stimulated Mr. Kipling, and he settled down to writing. "The
Record of Badalia Herodsfoot," and his first novel, "The Light
that Failed," appeared in 1890 and 1891; then a collection of
verse, "Life's Handicap, being stories of Mine Own People," was
published simultaneously in London and New York City; then
followed more verse, and so on through an unending series.
In 1891 Mr. Kipling met the young author Wolcott Balestier, at
that time connected with a London publishing house. A strong
attachment grew between the two, and several months after their
first meeting they came to Mr. Balestier's Vermont home, where
they collaborated on "The Naulahka: A Story of West and East,"
for which The Century paid the largest price ever given by an
American magazine for a story.