In 1889 this talented young writer, the son of a British colonial schoolteacher and future winner of the Nobel prize for literature, visited San Francisco on his way from India to England. It was not only his first visit to the city, but his first time in America — he was on assignment to record his impressions and write letters back to an Indian newspaper — and his brash and snobbish reactions to San Francisco and its wild inhabitants are alternately flattering, insulting and very amusing.

This selection from those letters is entitled, “How I Got to San Francisco and Took Tea with the Natives There” — and you’ll love it.

For further edification:
» text of original letter
» The Kipling Society
» time for rehabilitation?
» The Jungle Book movie

random episode from the archives:
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Thanks to Torchomatic for the use of the sparkling “Winter Sky”, courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network.