Kipling, Rudyard. (1865–1936) [Livingstone, David. (1813–1873)]
Typed Letter Signed regarding "the Expedition which is about to go to Central Africa to film the life and work of the noted Missionary and Explorer, David Livingstone"
TLS from the Nobel Prize–winning author to historian J. Aubrey Rees, offering his regrets on not being available for a luncheon supporting an expedition to Central Africa to film the life and work of noted missionary and explorer David Livingstone. 19th September 1923; 1 p. on personal stationary. In full, "Dear Sir, / I am greatly honoured by your proposal that I should support Lord Burnham at a Luncheon to be given on the 26th inst. to the Expedition which is about to go to Central Africa to film the life and work of the noted Missionary and Explorer, David Livingstone. / I regret that it will not be possible for me to do so, as I am obliged to be in Scotland to fulfil some engagements of long standing. / With best wishes for the success of this most interesting expedition, believe me, / Yours very truly, / [Signature.]" The stationary reads "Bateman's / Burwash / Sussex" in the upper right corner, Bateman's being the name of the 17th century house Kipling lived in from 1902 until his death in 1936. Expected mailing creases, light spots of toning, else in fine condition. 8 x 10.5 inches (20.3 x 26.7 cm.).
"David Livingstone was a Scottish missionary, doctor, abolitionist, and explorer who lived in the 1800s. He sought to bring Christianity, commerce, and 'civilization' to Africa and undertook three extensive expeditions throughout much of the continent." (Encyclopedia Britannica)
Rudyard Kipling was one of the most popular UK authors of the late 19th and early 20th century. He was the first English-language author to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, and remains the youngest person to ever receive it. Literary critic Douglas Kerr once wrote "[Kipling] is still an author who can inspire passionate disagreement and his place in literary and cultural history is far from settled. But as the age of the European empires recedes, he is recognised as an incomparable, if controversial, interpreter of how empire was experienced. That, and an increasing recognition of his extraordinary narrative gifts, make him a force to be reckoned with."