Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
George Papavgeris The Widow's Uniform (uploaded) (30) RE: The Widow's Uniform (uploaded) 30 Aug 13

The Widow's Uniform – Part 8/15:


One of Kipling's best known and best loved works. Bellamy's setting is by no means the first, though some previous efforts have failed to reflect – perhaps to recognise – the strong element of pathos and underlying bitterness.

"Mandalay" was inspired by the reminiscences of participants in the third Burmese War (1885-90), ending with the overthrow of the tyrant King Thibaw. Kipling himself visited Burma in 1889, falling deeply in love (his words) with a girl sitting on the pagoda steps just as he described.

The poem has also been one of many to arouse hostility. Some claim it to be patronising; a claim that simply is not supported by the text – perhaps an instance of critics seeing what they want or expect to see. Far from patronising the East and its people, the singer genuinely craves a return to his "cleaner, greener land". Kipling is describing a clear case of acculturation, before the term was current, but it is the English soldier who is the victim, and it is Burma and the Burmese – or at least one Burmese – that he considers in every way superior to England and its inhabitants.

Post to this Thread -

Back to the Main Forum Page

By clicking on the User Name, you will requery the forum for that user. You will see everything that he or she has posted with that Mudcat name.

By clicking on the Thread Name, you will be sent to the Forum on that thread as if you selected it from the main Mudcat Forum page.

By clicking on the Subject, you will also go to the thread as if you selected it from the original Forum page, but also go directly to that particular message.

By clicking on the Date (Posted), you will dig out every message posted that day.

Try it all, you will see.