Jungle trees ©Author Adventures

Rudyard Kipling, Bringing the Jungle Mystique to Vermont

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) is a significant British journalist, poet, and author of classic books, several of which were written from “Naulakha,” his home at 481 Kipling Road in Dummerston, Vermont. Built in 1892, this large custom-designed Shingle Style estate, located a few miles from Brattleboro, was where he lived and worked for four highly productive early career years (1892-1896). The books resulting from his time in this architectural and natural wonderland include The Jungle Book, Days Work, Seven Seas, and Captains Courageous. His two daughters were born during these years as well. After returning to England, he published another major work, Kim, and the popular collection Just So Stories. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907.

In his later years, he strongly expressed controversial views that prompted some readers to cease the value they had once placed on his earlier work. However, others have separated the artist from the art and continued to read his poetry and books. The Jungle Book, in particular, became a lucrative film franchise well into the 21st century. Read more details about Kipling here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/rudyard-kipling.

His Writings

Much of this writer’s work drew upon the experiences of his birthplace of Bombay, India, and his father’s experiences there. A list of his works can be found here: https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/literature/1907/kipling/bibliography.

The House

Today, Naulakha is on the National Historic Register and remains open to residential vacationers year-round. For questions or reservations, visit https://landmarktrustusa.org/rudyard-kiplings-naulakha.

According to its website: “The house itself was also extensively studied and the small alterations made after Kipling left were reversed. The Trust returned to the original colors inside and out so that now visitors can experience the house just as Kipling did. And while Rudyard Kipling did not have electricity and some other modern conveniences, Naulakha today is essentially the house he lived in.”

Dummerston remains a small town to this day.

Naulakha is the first stop of the Vermont Author Adventures Trail.

Patricia Smart