The Short Stories of Saki

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Copyright Group Limited, 2012 - Manners and customs - 50 pages
The short story is often viewed as an inferior relation to the Novel. But it is an art in itself. To take a story and distil its essence into fewer pages while keeping character and plot rounded and driven is not an easy task. Many try and many fail. In this series we look at short stories from many of our most accomplished writers. Miniature masterpieces with a lot to say. In this volume we examine some of the short stories of Saki. Hector Hugh Munro was born in Akyab Burma on the 18th December 1870. With the death of his mother, Hector was sent to England to live with his Grandmother and Aunts and endured a strict family upbringing. Educated at Pencarwick School in Exmouth, Devon and at Bedford School it was only on a few occasions that he was able to travel with his father to fashionable European spas and tourist resorts. In 1893, Hector followed his father into the Indian Imperial Police, where he was posted to Burma. Two years later, having contracted malaria, he resigned and returned to England. In England he started his career as a journalist, writing for the newspapers; the Westminster Gazette, Daily Express, Bystander, Morning Post, and Outlook. In 1900, Munro's first book, an historical study, appeared: The Rise of the Russian Empire. From 1902 to 1908, Munro worked as a foreign correspondent for The Morning Post in the Balkans, Warsaw, Russia and Paris; he then gave that up and settled in London. His postings gave him a large amount of inspiration for his 'Reginald' stories as well as his perhaps more famous stories of the macabre and unusual. His wit, general mischievousness and delight in turning things on their head brought him great acclaim. In November 1916, when sheltering in a shell crater near Beaumont-Hamel, France, he was killed by a German sniper. His alleged last words "Put that bloody cigarette out!." He was 45 Many of these stories are also available as an audiobook from our sister company Word Of Mouth. Many samples are at our youtube channel http: //www.youtube.com/user/PortablePoetry?feature=mhee The full volume can be purchased from iTunes, Amazon and other digital stores. They are read for you by Bill Wallis Index Of Stories The Music On The Hill The Interlopers The Cobweb The Hounds Of Fate The Phantom Luncheon Shock Tactics The Disappearance Of Crispin Umberleigh Blood Feud Of Toad Water The Story Teller The Unrest Cure The Open Window Gabriel Ernest Esme Fate

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About the author (2012)

H. H. Munro, better known as "Saki," was born in Burma, the son of an inspector-general for the Burmese police. Sent to England to be educated at the Bedford Grammar School, he returned to Burma in 1893 and joined the police force there. In 1896, he returned again to England and began writing first for The Westminster Gazette and then as a foreign correspondent for The Morning Post. Best known for his wry and amusing stories, Saki depicts a world of drawing rooms, garden parties, and exclusive club rooms. His short stories at their best are extraordinarily compact and cameolike, wicked and witty, with a careless cruelty and a powerful vein of supernatural fantasy. They deal, in general, with the same group of upper-class Britishers, whose frivolous lives are sometimes complicated by animals---the talking cat who reveals their treacheries in love, the pet ferret who is evil incarnate. The nom de plume "Saki" was borrowed from the cupbearer in Omar Khayyam's (see Vol. 2) The Rubaiyat. Munro used it for political sketches contributed to the Westminster Gazette as early as 1896, later collected as Alice in Westminster. The stories and novels were published between that time and the outbreak of World War I, when he enlisted as a private, scorning a commission. He died of wounds from a sniper's bullet while in a shell hole near Beaumont-Hamel. One of his characters summed up Saki's stories as those that "are true enough to be interesting and not true enough to be tiresome.

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