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The Light That Failed
by Rudyard Kipling
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Dick Heldar is a war correspondent and an artist, well-known for the drawings he sends home to the London papers from wars in exotic places like Sudan. When he returns to London, he attempts to make a career for himself as a serious artist -- and re-encounters his childhood sweetheart, Maisie. The pair fall in love. And then he learns that a minor problem with his eyes is actually the onset of blindness, incurable -- the result of a head wound he took during the war. And as his vision fails, the light of everything around him -- his life, his hopes, his dreams -- fail with it. There are trerrible choies to be made -- between the love of the woman he treasures . . . and the love of the men who stood by him at the front. (Jacketless library hardcover)
Torpenhow was sprawling in a long chair with a small fox-terrier asleep on his chest, while Dick was preparing a canvas. A dais, a background, and a lay-figure were the only fixed objects in the place. They rose from a wreck of oddments that began with felt-covered water-bottles, belts, and regimental badges, and ended with a small bale of second-hand uniforms and a stand of mixed arms.
The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature
Novel by Rudyard Kipling, published in 1890. The book, which includes autobiographical elements, describes the youth and manhood of Dick Heldar and traces his efforts as a war correspondent and artist whose sketches of British battles in the Sudan become popular. When he returns to London, he begins painting his masterpiece, racing against time because a battle wound has caused his eyesight to progressively fail. Kipling wrote two separate endings to The Light That Failed, a happy ending for the version published in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in January 1890 and an unhappy ending for the version published in book form a few months later.
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