Category: Literature

The Grinning Shadow that sat at the Feast: an appreciation of the life and work of Hector Munro 'Saki'

Hector Munro was a journalist better known for his satire and biting wit, written under the pen name Saki. He foresaw the outbreak of war and wrote about it in 1913 with When William Came. Although over-age, he volunteered for service at the outbreak of war with the Royal Fusiliers (a City regiment) and died on the Somme. But why did he refuse a commison, why did he not join the Intelligence battalion to stay out of the trenches - and why did he choose the pen-name Saki? A 100-year literary mystery is about to be solved.

A HISTORY OF THE DICTIONARY: DR JOHNSON, I PRESUME?

Johnson's early life was beset by ill health; his eyesight and hearing were poor throughout his life. Poverty obliged him to leave Oxford without a degree. Johnson travelled to London with his friend, the actor David Garrick, and supported himself through journalism. He was commissioned to write his renowned Dictionary of the English Language and rented 17 Gough Square (now Dr Johnson's House, off Fleet Street, a museum dedicated to the life and work of Samuel Johnson).

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