[Rudyard Kipling to President Roosevelt.] Autograph Card Signed, suggesting that he stay with the Kipling's and experience 'ordinary English country life in a small way', and teasing him for considering England America's 'hereditary enemy'.

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), English author and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature [Theodore Roosevelt Jr. (1858-1919), 26th President of the United States]
Publication details: 
Card with letterhead of Bateman's, Burwash, Sussex. 7 April 1910.
SKU: 21189

On both sides of an 8.5 x 11.5 cm grey card. In fair condition, with crease to one corner. Thirty-one lines of neatly-written text, signed 'Rudyard Kipling.', beginning: 'Dear Mr Roosevelt. | Just back from the continent – after an automobile trip from one end of France to the other. I gathered from a few casual references in the press that you were next door and I nearly wrote to thank you for the splendid speech you made in Egypt where I expect there will be some trouble later. That was good work. I don't usually go up to the Village much in summer and if I did it would be about the last place where I could get to see you.' He continues with the suggestion that 'if you and Mrs Roosevelt could slip down here for lunch any time (it is only two hours [sic] in an automobile) or better still spend a night with us there's nothing we'd like better.' He can offer Roosevelt 'dead quiet, a view of ordinary English country life in a small way (which is different from the big lay-out that you'll get)'. Should Roosevelt 'want to get a sweat on you by any form of manual labour' the Kiplings can meet him 'with axe or spade'. Should these plans suit Roosevelt's arrangements, perhaps his 'people could fix it'. Kipling concludes: 'I want to see you very much. We are having one hell of a political time.' Referring to Roosevelt's youthful antipathy to England, Kipling adds in a postscript: 'Do you remember the “hereditary enemy” you used to tell me about at Washington in the years before the flood. I told you then she didn't hate you.' Andrew Lycett's biography of Kipling describes how he and Roosevelt met in America in 1895, the American overcoming his initial suspicion of Kipling and the British. In March 1910, while touring the world, Roosevelt and his wife had travelled to the Sudan and Egypt, and that summer Kipling 'renewed his friendship with Theodore Roosevelt who, after two terms of office as President of the United States, was now touring the world, indulging his taste for shooting animals and occasionally giving talks such as his Romanes lecture to Oxford University on 7 June.' Lycett does not record that Roosevelt spent any time as Kipling's guest, but does note that his son Kermit (1889-1943) spent the night at Bateman's in the summer of 1910.