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The Kipling-Vermont Connection
Steve Sherman -- 9/1/97
When embattled Rudyard Kipling stormed out of Brattleboro, Vt., where he lived from 1892-96, he left behind 12 prose and p try drafts stuffed in a bank vault that remained unopened until 1992. To the delight of Brattleboro-based Images from the Past publisher Tordis Ilg Isselhardt, the material contained an unpublished part of a p m, now included in Rudyard Kipling in Vermont: Birthplace of the Jungle Books by Stuart Murray (Sept.).Isselhardt said, "You read in the major encyclopedias that Kipling lived in India and then he was back to the U.K., but they don't even mention these very important four years."
In Naulakha, the house he built for his American bride, Caroline Starr Balestier, on her family's property, Kipling wrote the two Jungle Books, short stories included in The Day's Work, many p ms in The Seven Seas collection, Captains Courageous and parts of Kim.

The Kipling brouhaha occurred when Caroline's brother Beatty Balestier, a headstrong, explosive man supervising the construction of Naulakha, ignited already poor relations with the famous author one day when Kipling was riding his bicycle to town. Beatty roared by in a carriage, nearly knocking Kipling over, and ended up threatening to kill him.

Kipling filed assault charges in May 1896; a grand jury trial was set for September, but then all the bad publicity caused the Kiplings to leave Brattleboro for England in August, before the trial date-rushing away so fast they failed to close their affairs sufficiently, leaving the bank vault box locked for a century.
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