Rudyard Kipling publishes "The Mark of the Beast"

Black and white photograph of Rudyard Kipling circa 1914. Wikimedia Commons.

On July 12, 1890, the Pioneer published Rudyard Kipling's "The Mark of the Beast." In India, an Englishman, Fleete, is cursed by the bite of a leper priest after he desecrates a Hindu temple. The short story describes his transformation from a man into a wolf-like creature. Kipling's text diverts from some familiar conventions of nineteenth-century werewolf fiction. Clemence Housman's The Were-Wolf and other werewolf stories often focused on werewolves as predatory villains, and usually had this threat occur in a village or town. In this story, Fleete does not kill anyone, nor is he killed at the end. Instead, he is presented as a victim that his colleagues must save (Du Coudray, The Curse of the Werewolf; Kipling, "The Mark of the Beast"). 

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12 Jul 1890

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