The If Man: Dr Leander Starr Jameson, the Inspiration for Kipling’s Masterpiece
Dr Leander Starr Jameson, the inspiration for Kipling’s masterpiece
A rollicking biography of Dr Leander Starr Jameson—hero, rogue and rascal of Empire and the man who inspired Kipling to write his masterpiece, If-
This famous poem by Rudyard Kipling is said to be based on the life of Jameson, and the suffering he endured as a result of the 1896 raid that he and his Rhodesian and Bechuanaland policemen carried out on Paul Kruger’s Transvaal Republic. In this engaging biography in the style of Wilbur Smith-meets-Louis l’Amour, Ash recounts the life of this colonial statesman known as ‘Dr Jim’ or simply ‘The Doctor’. He was an enigmatic man.
A British Colonial and ex-Gordon Highlander, Chris Ash has spent much of his life in Africa, usually drilling for oil in the least pleasant places. Blessed (cursed?) with a love of adventure, when he was 24, Chris drove his Land Rover from London to Cape Town and decided to stay. His passion for Victorian history was sparked by watching ‘Zulu’ and ‘Breaker Morant’ as a child, and stoked by a drunken argument with an irate Afrikaner in Pietersburg.