H.H. Munro (SAKI)


A picture of the author H.H. Munro (SAKI)

Hector Hugh Munro (Dec 18, 1870 - Nov 14, 1916) was a British author who published under the pen name SAKI. He was a master of the short story often compared to O. Henry and Dorothy Parker.

Munro was born in Akyab Burma, December 18, 1870 and passed away in November 13, 1916 in France.

After being charged by a cow, Munro's mother suffered a miscarriage, never recovered and died in 1872, while the author was only two years old. The Munro children were sent from Burma back to England where they the grandmother and aunts in a strict puritanical household. In his early career, Munro became a police officer in India and was posted to Burma where he contracted malaria. He returned to England in 1895.

When the war broke out, Munro refused a commission joined the British armed forces as a regular trooper. He was killed in action by a German sniper. His last words were reported as, "Put that bloody cigarette out!" In one of those unfortunate twists of fate, the papers that Munro had left behind were destroyed by his sister Ethel, who wrote her own account of their childhood. Homosexuality was a crime in Britain during Munro's lifetime and he kept that part of his life secreted away.

His most famous work is probably The Open Window and is highly recommended reading. His body of work holds many favorites and should be explored in entirety, but I also point the reader to The Toys of Peace where parents from Edwardian England are taught a familiar lesson.