Creator: Hector Hugh Munro

aka: Saki

H. H. (Hector Hugh) Munro (1870-1916), better known by his pen name Sakinote , was a British writer of over 100 short stories, three novels (The Unbearable Bassington, When William Came, and The Westminster Alice), and three plays (The Death-Trap, Karl-Ludwig's Window, and The Watched Pot). Full of sarcasm, wit, and Black Comedy, the influence of Oscar Wilde shows through in his work— and he, in turn, is a major influence on writers like P. G. Wodehouse and Dorothy Parker.

His work has entered the public domain, so a little searching will make all his stories available.

This author's works include examples of:

  • Alternate History: When William Came speculates on life in London after the Germans win World War I ("William" is Kaiser Wilhelm II).
  • Ambiguously Gay: Most of Saki's young male leads, particularly Clovis Sangrail and Reginald [last name never given]. Though Clovis has a female accomplice, Agnes Resker, who appears from time to time.
  • Baleful Polymorph: "Ministers of Grace." It has overtones of Grand Theft Me, as politicians' minds are put in animal bodies and angels take their place.
  • Blackmail: Several stories, including "Mrs. Packeltide's Tiger" and "The Treasure Ship".
  • Cats Are Superior: "The Achievement of the Cat" and "Tobermory".
  • Deadpan Snarker: In spades.
  • Ear Worm (in-universe): "Cousin Theresa", "The Secret Sin of Septimus Brope"
  • The Edwardian Era
  • Famous Last Words: None of his characters, but reportedly the man himself: "Put out that damn cigarette!" seconds before being shot by a German sniper.
  • Fractured Fairytale: A nice one in "The Storyteller".
  • Grande Dame: Plenty to annoy.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted horribly in "The Easter-Egg".
  • If It Tastes Bad, It Must Be Good for You: "Filboid Studge, or the Mouse That Helped"
  • It Will Never Catch On: "Cousin Teresa".
  • Kids Are Cruel: Quite a few, most notably in "The Strategist" and "The Penance" (as Disproportionate Retribution). Not that Saki is not on their side.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Saki may well have been one in life, given the affectionate depictions of them in various stories.
  • Lost Him in a Card Game: "The Stake".
  • Little Miss Badass: Vera, Mrs. Sappleton's niece in "The Open Window".
  • Mister Muffykins: The eponymous "Louis", with a twist. Louis is dead and his owner uses her pretended affection for him and his alleged needs to get her way.
  • My Beloved Smother: Several, though the most unpleasant example (in "Sredni Vashtar") is the protagonist's adult cousin and appointed guardian.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: "Gabriel-Ernest".
  • Reincarnation: "Laura".
  • Royal Brat: The eponymous "Hyacinth", and Victor in "Morlvera".
  • Stylistic Suck: "Reginald's Rubiyat", "The Recessional".
  • Take That: The Westminster Alice is an Alice in Wonderland parody that takes potshots at the prominent politicans of the time.
  • Talking Animal: The eponymous housecat "Tobermory". Hilarity Ensues when it turns out Tobermory has no concept of tact.
  • Values Dissonance: Anti-Semitism is treated as a joke in stories like "The Unrest-Cure" and "A Touch of Realism", and several stories (in particular "Hermann the Irascible— A Story of the Great Weep") play up the idea that women's suffrage was just too ridiculous a concept to be taken seriously.
  • Uncatty Resemblance: Taken to an extreme in "The Remoulding of Groby Lington."
  • Wham Line: "The Interlopers" ends with this.
  • World War I: The short story collection The Square Egg (published posthumously) were written during his service on the Western Front. Saki himself was killed in action in Beaumont-Hamel (probably during the Battle of the Somme).
  • You Can Keep Her: "The Disappearance of Crispina Umberleigh"— to the point that the kidnappers demand ransom by threatening to return her.

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