Although Hector Hugh Munro, better known as Saki, wrote two novels, The Unbearable Bassington (1912) and When William Came (1913), his reputation stems from his mastery of the short story. Witty and erudite, Saki's stories expose the absurdities of the English Edwardian upper classes. Many of his stories originally appeared in newspapers like the Daily Express and the Westminster Gazette. His first collection, Reginald (1904), reveals the satirical musings of the irreverent Reginald as he reluctantly attends a garden party with a pompous colonel, and in another story the theatre with a vague, superficial duchess. One of Saki's most poignant stories, ‘Sredni Vashtar’, included in his third collection, The Chronicles of Clovis (1911) demonstrates his quite extraordinary empathy for children who are bullied by domineering adults. Saki was killed by a sniper while serving in the 22nd Royal Fusiliers in the First World War.
Anton Chekhov, O. Henry EW