"Just So Stories" Reader's GuidePage 5
THE BEST BELOVED
Kipling’s daughter Josephine was the clear inspiration for much of his early work. An example of this is his first collection of Jungle Book stories. A copy of the book recently found in a family collection bears this poignant inscription: ”This book belongs to Josephine Kipling for whom it was written by her father, May 1894.” Josephine may not have fully appreciated the tales at the time, being only a year old.
Born during the near decade that her parents spent in Vermont, Josephine became ill during the return crossing to England in 1899 and died of Pneumonia at age 6.
Published three years later, Just So Stories for Little Children was a collection of stories that a doting father had told to his Best Beloved, a tribute to his lost daughter.