Kipling’s critics are quick to include him as one of the ‘fathers’ who ‘lied’ – echoing his short poem ‘Common Form’ – ‘If any question why we died, Tell them, because our fathers lied’.
From ‘Kiplings War’
Kipling has long been viewed as a propagandist and supporter of war but that was perhaps merely a product of his passion for his country and his immense capability to express almost every aspect of the human condition.
He wrote, not only as a journalistic commentator but as a father, a common man and as something that compounded his guilt over the waste of his son’s and millions of other son’s lives – a survivor…
One of the most intriguing engravings of the 18th century shows an elegant lady holding a sword and staff, wearing a cross of the military order of Saint-Louis and, more bizarrely, wearing a Masonic apron. The engraving is entitled ‘La Découverte ou la Femme Franc-Maçon’ – roughly translated as ‘The Discovery of the Female French Mason’. Rites of Adoption were not uncommon in France, with women being admitted to quasi-Masonic Orders but what was most unusual was that the woman in the picture was actually a man. A cross-dressing author, diplomat, soldier and spy, the Chevalier d’Éon, became a legend in his own lifetime.
Article featured in The Square magazine – click on the link to read.