his article uses online archives of digitized American and British newspapers to examine the importance of newspaper publication to Rudyard Kipling. Taking ‘The White Man’s Burden’ as its particular example, this article recovers the history of that poem’s publication and initial reception. That history revises both the poem’s date and place of first publication, from Britain to America. In the process, Kipling emerges as a more transatlantic poet than was previously thought, and as a figure who is more influential in America. He is seen to have a sophisticated understanding of the demands and nature of newsprint, of newspapers as a literary and poetic medium, and of newspaper poetry as a journalistic genre. Many agencies and interested parties are seen to be involved in the poem’s publication, and the nature of its cultural success offers further evidence for a transatlantic press history.
- Rudyard Kipling; newspapers; transatlantic literary studies; digital humanities; newspaper poetry; imperialism