The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

November 13, 2011

November 13, 1916

H. H. Munro (December 18, 1870 to November 13, 1916), or Saki, as he is often called by his pen name, wrote with an eye for literalism that shaded into horror. It is as if he knew he would die young, and worked well under pressure.

The setting of the satirical story, "The Unkindest Blow," is a strike by zoo workers at the London Zoo. 
The Navy has been called in as strike breakers because of their familiarity with parrots. The alternative is that the striking zoo workers might make good on their threat to let the large carnivores at the zoo loose in the streets of the city.

The First Lord of the Admiralty who was keenly desirous of an opportunity for performing some personal act of unobtrusive public service within the province of his department. "If he inssits on feeding the infant jaguar himself, in defiance of its mother's wishes, there may be another by-election in the north," said one of his colleagues with a hopeful inflection in his voice.

This vignette is from Beasts, and Super-Beasts (1914), 
a collection of short stories. His sister destroyed his personal papers after his death.

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