In 1878 Kipling was admitted to the United Services College, at Westward Ho!, Devon, a school founded a few years earlier to prepare boys for the armed forces. The school proved rough going for him at first, but led to firm friendships & provided the setting for his schoolboy stories Stalky & Co., published years later. During his time there, he met & fell in love with Florence Garrard, the model for Maisie in his 1st novel, The Light That Failed, initially published in 1890 in Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine.
Dick Heldar is a war correspondent & an artist, known for the drawings he sends home to the London papers from wars in exotic places like Sudan. When he returns to London, he attempts to make a career for himself as a serious artist & encounters his childhood sweetheart, Maisie. They fall in love. Then he learns that a minor problem with his eyes is actually the onset of blindness, incurable–the result of a head wound he took during the war. As his vision fails, the light of everything around him–his life, his hopes, his dreams–fail with it. There are terrible choices to be made between the love of the woman he treasures & the love of the men who stood by him at the front.