Saki, and also frequently as H. H. Munro, was a British
writer whose witty, mischievous and sometimes macabre
stories satirised Edwardian society and culture. He is considered a master of the short story
and often compared to O. Henry
and Dorothy Parker
. Influenced by Oscar Wilde
, Lewis Carroll
, and Kipling, he himself influenced A. A. Milne
, Noël Coward
, and P. G. Wodehouse
Beside his short stories (which were first published in newspapers, as was customary at the time, and then collected into several volumes), he wrote a full-length play, The Watched Pot, in collaboration with Charles Maude; two one-act plays; a historical study, The Rise of the Russian Empire, the only book published under his own name; a short novel, The Unbearable Bassington; the episodic The Westminster Alice (a Parliamentary
of Alice in Wonderland), and When William Came
, subtitled A Story of London Under the Hohenzollerns, a fantasy about a future German invasion
The name Saki may be a reference to the cupbearer in the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam
, a poem mentioned disparagingly by the eponymous character in "Reginald on Christmas Presents" and alluded to in a few other stories.
We all know that Prime Ministers are wedded to the truth, but like other married couples they sometimes live apart.
A little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of explanation.
Put that bloody cigarette out!
Confront a child, a puppy, and a kitten with a sudden danger; the child will turn instinctively for assistance, the puppy will grovel in abject submission to the impending visitation, the kitten will brace its tiny body for a frantic resistance.
Reginald in his wildest lapses into veracity never admits to being more than twenty-two.
I found everyone talking nervously and feverishly of the weather and the war in South Africa, except Reginald, who was reclining in a comfortable chair with the dreamy, far-away look that a volcano might wear just after it had desolated entire villages.
It is an admitted fact that the ordinary tomtit of commerce has a sounder aesthetic taste than the average female relative in the country.
I am not collecting copies of the cheaper editions of Omar Khayyám. I gave the last four that I received to the lift-boy, and I like to think of him reading them, with FitzGerald's notes, to his aged mother. Lift-boys always have aged mothers; shows such nice feeling on their part, I think.
To die before being painted by Sargent is to go to Heaven prematurely.
You can't expect the fatted calf to share the enthusiasm of the angels over the prodigal's return.