Saki, or Hector Hugh Munro, was born in 1870 in Burma, where his father was inspector general for the Burma police. After his mother’s death when he was two years old, he was sent to England and brought up by his grandmother and aunts. He started his career as a journalist, and began to write short stories that were published in the collections Reginald (1904), Reginald in Russia (1910), The Chronicles of Clovis (1911) and Beasts and Super Beasts (1914). He also wrote two novellas The Unbearable Bassington (1912) and When William Came (1913). When the First World War broke out, although at forty-three he was officially too old to fight, he joined the Royal Fusiliers. He was killed by a German sniper near Beaument-Hamel, France. His last words were said to be: ‘Put that bloody cigarette out!’