Saki, alias Hector Hugh Munro (1851-1901)
H(ector) H(ugh) Munro was born on December 18, 1870, in Akyab, Burma, now Myanmar. Hector's father was Inspector-General of the Burma Police. When still very young, together with his brother and sister, he was sent back to England, to receive his education. The three children went to live near Barnstaple, North Devon, under the care of their father's two sisters and brother. The upbringing was very strict and his aunts were to serve as prototypes on which to base a number of his characters. He went to study in Exmouth and then moved to Bedford Grammar school.
In June 1893, Saki left for Burma; his father had arranged a post for him in the military police. He spent 13 months there but had to return to England because of his ill health.
In 1896 Saki was in London and started writing political satires, later collected and published as The Westminster Alice. In 1902 he was in the Balkans as a correspondent for the Morning Post, then moved to Warsaw and then to St. Petersburg, where he lived for two years. In 1908 he returned to London: there he worked for the Morning Post, Bystander, Westminster Gazette and the Daily Express. In 1910 he published Reginald in Russia, followed, in 1912, by The Chronicles of Clovis and in 1913 by When William Came. In 1914 Beasts and Super Beasts was published. When war was declared in late 1914, Hector rushed to enlist as a private. In November 1915 Saki's company was sent to France, where he was killed by a German sniper on November 13, 1916.
His stories are witty, cruel, cynical and sardonic, revealing the truth beneath the surface of the polite Edwardian society, all in a very elegant and refined style.
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