However, at the age of 6, Kipling's life changed greatly. He was sent to England to receive a formal British education. These were hard years for Kipling. The boy suffered from strict school discipline, his classmates’ insults and bullying. His only comfort was books: he enjoyed reading. By the age of 11, Kipling was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Fortunately, Kipling’s mother placed him in a new school. There, Kipling found friends and discovered his talent for writing, eventually becoming the editor of the school newspaper.
In 1882, Kipling was told by his parents that they didn't have enough money to send him to college, and he returned to India. It was a powerful moment in the young writer's life. He found a job with a local newspaper. Kipling's experience as a reporter formed the backbone for lots of his stories. Later, his collection of 40 short stories called Plain Tales from the Hills gained wide popularity in England.
Seven years later, Kipling returned to England in the hope of becoming a famous writer. In London, he met Wolcott Balestier, an American publisher who became one of Kipling's great friends and supporters. Later, Kipling happily married Wolcott’s sister, Carrie.
As a writer, Kipling flourished. His portfolio contained gems like The Jungle Book, The Naulahka: A Story of the West and East and The Second Jungle Book. Kipling loved children and understood them very well. His tales fascinated boys and girls all over the world.
Kipling travelled a lot, but in 1902 he returned to Great Britain with his wife and children. The Kiplings bought a large estate in Sussex and many of his most famous books were written there. One of them was Just So Stories. The book's name had, in fact, come from his daughter, who asked her father to repeat each tale several times, or "just so," as she often said.
In 1907 he was the first English writer to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. It was international recognition of his talent.
In 1914, the First World War began and Kipling was a passionate supporter of the fight against Germany. He even encouraged his son John to join the army though John had a serious problem with his eyesight. Kipling and his son were very close. Unfortunately, in October of 1915, John was killed in France. Kipling, feeling guilty about persuading his son to become a soldier, was terribly depressed.
Due to these sad circumstances, for the last twenty years of his life Kipling did not write any more of his wonderful children's tales.