Rosemary Sutcliff loved the work of Rudyard Kipling. Indeed, she wrote a monograph about him. Today (30th December) was his birthday (in 1865). She herself wrote in 1965 (I now realise perhaps to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth) in The Kipling Journal of the Kipling Society:
… other people write about things from the outside in, but Kipling writes about them from the inside out … I was something under six when my mother first read The Jungle Books to me. They were my first introduction to Kipling, and perhaps for that reason, they have an especial potency for me. From the first, I had an extraordinary sense of familiarity in the jungle; I was not discovering a new world but returning to a world I knew; and the closest contact I ever made with a ‘Story book Character’, I made with Bagheera, the black panther with the voice as soft as wild honey dripping from a tree and the little bald spot that told of a collar, under his chin.