Published in 1886, the story “Lispeth” by Rudyard Kipling takes place during the British rule in India, as suggested by the presence of missionaries, Englishmen, and travellers. The timeline of the story is chronological, covering the events in Lispeth’s life from infancy to late adulthood. Events take place when Lispeth is a baby, when she is a teenager, and when she is old.
The story is set in a real physical setting, in Kotgarh, a region in the Himalayan mountains. The author gives real names of localities such as Simla, Sutlej Valley, or Narkunda (all places in northern India), giving the story more authenticity. Furthermore, the setting of a remote place in the mountains with an English Christian mission helps the development of the plot, because the author needs the action to take place in a locality where English culture and native Indian culture meet: “This was after the reign of the Moravian missionaries, but before Kotgarth had quite forgotten her title of ‘Mistress of the Northern Hills’ ” (p. 265, l. 17, p. 266, ll. 1-2). Kipling gives details of this place to his reader, who may or may not be familiar with the area. By referencing the area's history, the story's setting appears mysterious and exotic but also highly believable.
Most of the action takes places on or near to the property of the Chaplain and his wife. For example, Lispeth finds the injured En...