Friday, May 25, 2012

Murder Averted! Woman handcuffed to rails! Feb 6 1886

Another sensationalistic story in the Civil & Military Gazette, this one printed on February 6 1886:

Kipling sometimes took these scraps of news and turned them into stories. He apparently used the story of a servant imprisoned for three months for stealing a cricket ball as the basis for his short story "The Story of Muhammad Din" (see here). I'm a little sceptical of that, frankly (because the story Kipling later wrote didn't involve a servant going to prison), though the general principle seems hard to escape: Kipling's incredibly prolific fiction writing in the late 1880s and 1890s regarding India must have been linked to the stories he heard and read about working as a journalist.

In any case, there's a story behind the account given above of a woman tied to the rails on the South Indian Railway... 

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