Emeritus Professor of English Thomas Pinney is in the news for a remarkable discovery: 50 "lost" Rudyard Kipling poems. Pinney, who is the editor of the upcoming The Cambridge Edition of the Poems of Rudyard Kipling, which is the first complete set of Kipling's poems to be compiled and will be released by the Cambridge University Press on March 7, unearthed the poems in a number of places, including a renovated Manhattan house and among the papers of the former head of the Cunard Line of cruise ships.
Kipling is best known for the books The Jungle Book, Just So Stories and Kim, and the poem If, and has also been a controversial literary figure due to his association with British imperialism. Perhaps because of this controversy, "His texts have never properly been studied but things are starting to change," said Pinney in an interview with The Guardian. "There is a treasure trove of uncollected, unpublished and unidentified work out there. I discovered another unrecorded item only recently and that sort of thing will keep happening. It is a tremendously exciting time for scholars and for fans of Kipling."
Pinney, who retired from Pomona College in 1997 after 35 years of teaching, is also the author of the definitive A History of Wine in America (two volumes published by University of California Press) and The Makers of American Wine: A Record of Two Hundred Years. He is editor of an annotated version of George Saintsbury's Notes on a Cellar-Book, a supplemented version of Kipling's autobiography Something of Myself, and several collections of Kipling's letters, among other books.