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The Jungle Book

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The Jungle Book
Embossed cover from the original edition of The Jungle Book based on art by John Lockwood Kipling
Author Rudyard Kipling
Illustrator John Lockwood Kipling (Rudyard's father)
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series The Jungle Books
Genre Children's book
Publisher Macmillan Publishers
Publication date
Preceded by "In the Rukh"
Followed by The Second Jungle Book

The Jungle Book (1894) is a collection of stories by English author Rudyard Kipling. The stories were first published in magazines in 1893–94. The original publications contain illustrations, some by Rudyard's father, John Lockwood Kipling. Kipling was born in India and spent the first six years of his childhood there. After about ten years in England, he went back to India and worked there for about six-and-a-half years. These stories were written when Kipling lived in Vermont.[1] There is evidence that it was written for his daughter Josephine, who died in 1899 aged six, after a rare first edition of the book with a poignant handwritten note by the author to his young daughter was discovered at the National Trust's Wimpole Hall in Cambridgeshire in 2010.[2]

The tales in the book (and also those in The Second Jungle Book which followed in 1895, and which includes five further stories about Mowgli) are fables, using animals in an anthropomorphic manner to give moral lessons. The verses of The Law of the Jungle, for example, lay down rules for the safety of individuals, families and communities. Kipling put in them nearly everything he knew or "heard or dreamed about the Indian jungle."[3] Other readers have interpreted the work as allegories of the politics and society of the time.[4] The best-known of them are the three stories revolving around the adventures of an abandoned "man cub" Mowgli who is raised by wolves in the Indian jungle. The most famous of the other stories are probably "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi", the story of a heroic mongoose, and "Toomai of the Elephants", the tale of a young elephant-handler. As with much of Kipling's work, each of the stories is preceded by a piece of verse, and succeeded by another.

The Jungle Book, because of its moral tone, came to be used as a motivational book by the Cub Scouts, a junior element of the Scouting movement. This use of the book's universe was approved by Kipling after a direct petition of Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Scouting movement, who had originally asked for the author's permission for the use of the Memory Game from Kim in his scheme to develop the morale and fitness of working-class youths in cities. Akela, the head wolf in The Jungle Book, has become a senior figure in the movement, the name being traditionally adopted by the leader of each Cub Scout pack.


The complete book, having passed into the public domain, is on-line at Project Gutenberg's official website and elsewhere. Each of the even-numbered items below is an epigrammatic poem related to the previous story.

  1. "Mowgli's Brothers": A boy is raised by wolves in the Indian Jungle with the help of Baloo the bear and Bagheera the black panther, and then has to fight the tiger Shere Khan. This story has also been published as a short book in its own right: Night-Song in the Jungle
  2. "Hunting-Song of the Seeonee Pack"
  3. "Kaa's Hunting": This story takes place before Mowgli fights Shere Khan. When Mowgli is abducted by monkeys, Baloo and Bagheera set out to rescue him with the aid of Chil the Kite and Kaa the python. Maxims of Baloo.
  4. "Road Song of the Bandar-Log"
  5. "Tiger! Tiger!": Mowgli returns to the human village and is adopted by Messua and her husband who believe him to be their long-lost son Nathoo. But he has trouble adjusting to human life, and Shere Khan still wants to kill him. The story's title is taken from the poem "The Tyger" by William Blake.
  6. "Mowgli's Song"
  7. "The White Seal": Kotick, a rare white-furred Northern fur seal, searches for a new home for his people, where they will not be hunted by humans. The "animal language" words and names in this story are a phonetic spelling of Russian spoken with an Aleut accent, for example the hero's name "Kotick" (Котик) is an affectionate diminutive of "cat" (Кот); also "Stareek!" (Старик!) means "old man!", "Ochen scoochnie" (said by Kotick) to mean "I am very lonesome" is the phonetic pronunciation of Очень скучный which actually means "very boring". Likewise, "holluschick" (plural -ie) is "холостяк", (pl. -и) which means "bachelor" and is used in the story for "unmarried" young adult seals.
  8. "Lukannon"
  9. "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi": Rikki-Tikki the mongoose defends a human family living in India against a pair of cobras. This story has also been published as a short book.
  10. "Darzee's Chaunt"
  11. "Toomai of the Elephants": Toomai, a ten-year-old boy who helps to tend working elephants, is told that he will never be a full-fledged elephant-handler until he has seen the elephants dance. This story has also been published as a short book.
  12. "Shiv and the Grasshopper"
  13. "Her Majesty's Servants" (originally titled "Servants of the Queen"): On the night before a military parade a British soldier eavesdrops on a conversation between the camp animals.
  14. "Parade-Song of the Camp Animals" parodies several well-known songs and poems, including Bonnie Dundee.


In alphabetical order:


The book's text has often been abridged or adapted for younger readers, and there have also been several comic book adaptations.

Heroes of the Soviet animation film on a postal stamp of Russia
  • In 1967, another animated adaptation was released in the Soviet Union called Mowgli (Russian: Маугли; published as Adventures of Mowgli in the US), also known as the 'heroic' version of the story. Five animated shorts of about 20 minutes each were released between 1967 and 1971, and combined into a single 96-minute feature film in 1973. It's also very close to the book's storyline, and one of the few adaptations which has Bagheera as a female panther. It also features stories from The Second Jungle Book, such as Red Dog and a simplified version of The King's Ankus.


A letter written and signed by Rudyard Kipling in 1895 was put up for auction in 2013 by Andrusier. In this letter, Kipling confesses plagiarism in the Jungle Book: "I am afraid that all that code in its outlines has been manufactured to meet 'the necessities of the case': though a little of it is bodily taken from (Southern) Esquimaux rules for the division of spoils," Kipling wrote in the letter. "In fact, it is extremely possible that I have helped myself promiscuously but at present cannot remember from whose stories I have stolen."[30]

See also


  1. ^ Rao, K. Bhaskara (1967) Rudyard Kipling's India. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press
  2. ^ "Kipling first edition with author's poignant note found". BBC News. Retrieved 26 February 2013
  3. ^ The Long Recessional: the Imperial Life of Rudyard Kipling, David Gilmour, Pimlico, 2003 ISBN 0-7126-6518-8
  4. ^ Hjejle, Benedicte 1983 'Kipling, Britisk Indien og Mowglihistorieine', Feitskrifi til Kristof Glamann, edited by Ole Fddbek and Niels Thomson. Odense, Denmark: Odense Universitetsforlag. pp. 87–114.
  5. ^ Superman Annual No.6 (1994)
  6. ^ Neil Gaiman's Journal, February 13, 2008
  7. ^ "BBC, Pathe team for 'Jungle Book' – Entertainment News, Film News, Media – Variety". Variety. 
  8. ^ "The White Seal (TV 1975) – IMDB". Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi (TV 1975) – IMDB". Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  10. ^ "Mowgli's Brothers (TV 1976) – IMDB". Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  11. ^ Stuart Paterson – complete guide to the Playwright and Plays
  12. ^ Hunger Artists – Show Archives
  13. ^ "BBC Radio 4 Extra - Rudyard Kipling - The Jungle Book - Episode guide". Retrieved 2014-08-02. 
  14. ^ "Radio". Retrieved 2014-08-02. 
  15. ^ 'Jungle Book' Live-Action Reboot in the Works at Disney (Exclusive)
  16. ^ Jon Favreau In Talks To Helm New Disney Adaptation Of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Jungle Book’
  17. ^ "Jon Favreau’s ‘The Jungle Book’ Finds Its Mowgli". Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Bill Murray to Voice Baloo the Bear in ‘The Jungle Book’". Variety. August 1, 2014. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  19. ^ Fleming, Mike (6 March 2014). "Idris Elba To Provide The Roar In Disney’s ‘Jungle Book’". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  20. ^ "Ben Kingsley To Voice Bagheera In Disney’s ‘The Jungle Book’". Deadline. June 25, 2014. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Disney’s ‘Jungle Book’ Adds Christopher Walken & Giancarlo Esposito". July 28, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong'o in Talks for Disney's 'Jungle Book'". 23 April 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  23. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (April 27, 2012). "Steve Kloves To Write-Direct ‘The Jungle Book’ For Warner Bros". Retrieved August 2, 2014. 
  24. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (February 14, 2014). "Ron Howard in Talks to Direct Warner Bros.' 'The Jungle Book' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  25. ^ "Andy Serkis to Direct ‘Jungle Book’ for Warner Bros.". 20 March 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  26. ^ McNary, Dave (August 1, 2014). "Andy Serkis’ ‘Jungle Book: Origins’ Set for October 2016, A Year After Disney’s ‘Jungle Book’". Retrieved August 2, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Warner Bros. Pushes ‘Jungle Book: Origins’ Back a Year to 2017". 11 December 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  28. ^ "Benedict Cumberbatch Joins 'Jungle Book' for Warner Bros.". 
  29. ^ "Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett Join 'Jungle Book: Origins'". 
  30. ^ Flood, Alison (31 May 2013). "Rudyard Kipling 'admitted to plagiarism in Jungle Book'". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 31 May 2013. 

External links