Hector Hugh Munro born on December 18, 1870 was a British satirical and often mischievous writer with a witty sense of humor. He is better known to the audience by his pen name Saki, who created a ghastly environment for his stories, which had a sarcastic tonality to describe the British era during the Edwardian society ( reign of King Edward III from 1901-1910). Writers like Rudyard Kipling, Oscar Wilde, Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, Lewis Carroll and other influential writers during that era, influenced Saki.
The play written by Saki in collaboration with Charles Maude named “The Watched Pot” had two one-act plays, “The Rise of the Russian Empire” , which is a historical study is the only book that was published under his own name instead of his penname and other stories including “The Unbearable Bassington” , “When William Came” amongst others
Saki was born in British Burma in Akyab, which was a part of British India and was under the authority of the then viceroy of India. His father’s name was Charles Augustus Munro, who was an Inspector General in the Imperial Police of India. His wife Mary Frances Marcer was the daughter to Rear Admiral Samuel Mercer. Dornford Yates, was the nephew of Saki who was a famous novelist. Mary Munro, in 1872 during her home visit in England had a miscarriage on account of a cow charging her. This trauma made her very restless and she was not able to recover from this shock and died soon after.
Charles, after his wife’s demise, sent his children’s to England to keep them with their grandmother and aunts to be raised in a strict household. Governesses educated Munro in his early years, and by the age of 12 he took to schooling at Exmouth in Pencarwick School and later was sent to Bedford School.
The year was 1896 when Saki decided to relocate to London to live his life as a writer. He started his writing career as a journalist in newspapers like the Daily Express, the Westminster Gazette, the Morning Post including magazines like the Outlook and Bystander. The first book written by Saki, “The Rise and fall of Russian Empire” was published during the early 1900, which was not received by the audience and became a false start in his career as a writer.
During the initiation of the First World war, Munro who was 43 joined as an ordinary trooper in 2nd King Edwards horse fleet, where he was promoted to lance sergeant. He went on fighting for his country in illness more than once. The year was November 1916, when the Battle of the Ancre was fought, Saki was killed by a German sniper, and based on various sources of information available his last words were “Put that cigarette out”. His name was not engraved anywhere after his death, though there is a commemoration of him on Pier and Face 8C, 16A and 9A of Thiepval memorial. However, after his death, his sister Ethel destroyed most of his writings and wrote their childhood experiences in her own words.
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