11th July 2006




An Edwardian author, who was brought up in confinement by two strict aunts after his mother was killed by a runaway cow, is the subject of a book being written by an English lecturer at the University of Lincoln.


Professor Sandie Byrne has just signed a publishing deal with Oxford University Press for a book she’s been working on for the past two years about Hector Hugh Munro, better known by his pen name: ‘Saki’.


Saki is famous for his witty and sometimes macabre short stories which satirized Edwardian society and culture.

His first book, ‘The Rise of the Russian Empire’ appeared in 1900. It was followed in 1902 by the ‘Not-So-Stories’, a collection of political satires which appeared in newspapers of the day, whose title was an affectionately jokey reference to Kipling's ‘Just-So Stories.

From 1902 to 1908 Munro worked as a foreign correspondent for the Morning Post in the Balkans, Russia and Paris before settling in London.

As well as his well known short stories, Munro also wrote two novels, ‘The Unbearable Bassington’ and ‘When William Came’.

At the start of World War I Munro joined the army and returned to the battlefield more than once when officially still too sick or injured to fight. He was killed in France, near Beaumont-Hamel, in 1916.

He was sheltering in a shell crater when he was killed by a German sniper. His famous last words were: "Put that bloody cigarette out!"

Professor Sandie Byrne came to the University of Lincoln in January 2003 from the University of Oxford. She has published numerous books and articles on 19th-century fiction and 20th-century poetry and has recently been commissioned to write a book about Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’.

For more information contact:

Kate Strawson Press Officer

(01522) 886244 kstrawson@lincoln.ac.uk

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