Autograph Letter SIGNED with Original Art to H. Rider Haggard. Kipling suggests a plot change for writer friend H. Rider Haggard and explains his idea with a sketch. Kilpling draws a gyroscope to clarify his idea for Haggard’s last important novel, "When the World Shook."
Kipling calls Haggard, "Dear Old Man," then offers his thoughts on Haggard's book. "Your Oro is no small person - a gent with a delicate mind and insensitive leanings. Note, however, that the idea of a great gyroscope that goes out of control has been used. It was created for demonstration purposes, slipped on its base and ground a hall full of people to rags. Put on your scale, it's a simply hellish idea...." Here, Kipling illustrates the gyroscope in a small sketch and suggests an alternative gyroscope that shifts internal strata and tilts the earth. "Get the thing to unchain some inconceivably vast...heated rocks loose...The girl could stop it at the last minute of course...."
KIpling then describes Haggard's account of Theodore Roosevelt as "most interesting. I don't think he need worry...about coming over....." He doubts that many in England would show interest in discussing American attitudes. Europe was embroiled in the first World War at this time, January 1917, prior to the US entry about four months later. Kipling signs with initials, "R. K." With holograph envelope initialed in lower left corner. Condition: Visible rust stains on lower portion of first page. Three pages on his emblematic Burwash stationery, bifold small 8vo, Sussex, Jan. 18, 1917. An outstanding letter.
Kipling enjoyed Haggard's completed novel which reflected Kipling's suggestion according to D. S. Higgins, "Rider Haggard: The Great Storyteller." (1981). In an earlier biography of Haggard, “Rider Haggard: His Life & World,” Morton Cohen, [ 1960, the second edition 1968], Cohen noted that Kipling provided the idea for "When the World Shook." Kipling's comments on Roosevelt were copied by Haggard in his diary entry for Jan. 19, 1917. Kipling was one of the most popular writers in English, in both prose and verse, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1907, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, making him the first English language writer to receive the prize, and to date he remains its youngest recipient. Among other honors, he was sounded out for the British Poet Laureateship and on several occasions for a knighthood, all of which he declined.