Oxford 2011: Orwell vs Kipling

Speakers

  • Chaired by Jean Seaton (director of the Orwell Prize)

Orwell:

Kipling:

Details

‘Kipling is in the peculiar position of having been a byword for fifty years. During five literary generations every enlightened person has despised him, and at the end of that time nine-tenths of those enlightened persons are forgotten and Kipling is in some sense still there.’ George Orwell on Rudyard Kipling, 1942

Both Orwell and Kipling (who died 75 years ago, in 1936) were born in India and wrote about the British Empire. Both of them were intensely political writers, across journalism, prose and poetry. But which of them is the greater writer?

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