The Chronicles of Clovis, published in 1911, was the third in Saki (H. H. Munro)'s series of very funny and very vicious stories. As an insider, Saki was ideally poised to eviscerate the Edwardian middle class way of life, and his pitiless and magnetic sense of humour - teamed with an ability to wield that sharpest of writer's tools, the (very) short story - makes these some of the funniest and most quotable of tales.
All of the running themes in Saki's work are here: the ghastly maiden relatives, plucked directly from Munro's experiences as a boy with a pair of overly disciplinarian aunts and delivered up to retribution in such famous stories as "Sredni Vashtar"; the somewhat dodgy attitude to female emancipation, shown very short shrift by the newly crowned fictitious King of England in "Hermann the Irascible"; and the ease with which nature, red in tooth and claw, overcomes the seeming power of the Edwardian sense of its own civilisation in the merciless hunting story "Esmé".
There are 29 stories in this collection, each one exquisitely crafted, totally vicious and very, very funny.
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