The Second Oxford India Illustrated Corbett is another collection of Corbett's best-loved writings complemented by gripping illustrations. Whether lovingly sketching life in a Himalayan village as in "The Queen of the Village' and 'Kunwar Singh', or describing the dense Indian jungles and teeming wildlife of his days in Jungle Lore, or telling the story, tinged with regret, of the hunting of the beautiful Pipal Pani Tiger, the stories reflect Corbett's involvement with India, her people and her flora and fauna.
With 'The Talla Des Man-eater' and 'The Man-eating Leopard of Rudraprayag' we enter vintage Corbett territory-tightly paced and nail-biting accounts of hunting man-eaters in the hills of Kumaon and Garhwal.
The entire collection, with its rich visuals and riveting tales, will appeal to young readers and Corbett admirers alike. However, some stories have been chosen particularly for younger reader. 'Robin' is a poignant story of Corbett's favourite hunting dog; 'Sultana' is an appealing tale of an Indian Robin Hood; and 'The Muktesar Man-eater' is a touching account of Corbett's satisfaction at 'having made a small portion of the earth safe for a brave little girl to walk on'.
About the Author:
Jim Corbett (1875-1955) , India's most famous hunter of man-eaters, was a pioneer in many respects-a hunter par excellence with over a dozen man-eaters (thought to have taken more than 1500 lives) to his name, and a committed conservationist who helped establish India's first national park, subsequently named after him. Corbett was also a consummate storyteller whose adventurous and perceptive tales have not only entertained and captivated a whole generation of readers, but also opened their eyes to the cause of the environment.
The Oxford India Illustrated Corbett delighted Corbett Aficionados and the uninitiated alike. The second volume begins where the first left off and brings together an exciting selection, richly illustrated to complement the compelling narrative. Some stories have been included particularly for our young readers. 'Robin', 'Sultana', and 'The Muktesar Man-eater' are bound to delight them, particularly with the visual appeal of this edition, and leave them asking for more.
The first two stories in the collection, 'The Queen of the Village' and 'Kunwar Singh', show two different sides of Corbett's intense involvement with India. In the first, while lovingly sketching a typical Himalayan village, he respects the traditions that are so intrinsically a part of Indian Life. In the second, he is more paternalistic and scorns tradition and superstition when they threaten the life of an old friend and hunting companion. In both, however, his love for India and her people is evident. 'Sultana' is a story of the Robin Hood genre, perhaps thrown up by every culture.
Jungle Lore evokes the dense jungles and teeming wildlife of India in Corbett's time, while already expressing concern at the destruction of forests. 'Robin' is a poignant story in the very English 'a dog is man's best friend' theme. In 'The Pipal Pani Tiger' we are in Corbett's favourite territory-hunting a carnivore. The tiger is a beautiful specimen whom Corbett has tracked since it was a cub and whose killing he regrets. Not so in the next three stories in each of which the quarry is a man-eater.
When someone like Corbett talks of the supernatural, it sends a chill down the spine. 'The Talla Des Man-eater', in addition to Corbett's tightly paced account of one of his toughest man-eater hunts where an abscess in his ear has left him temporarily deaf, recounts a brush with the supernatural. 'The Muktesar Man-eater' is one of the most touching of his man-eater tales where the shooting of the dreaded animal provides lasting security to villagers at the mercy of a man-eater. The last is 'The Man-eating Leopard of Rudraprayag' which we have included on popular demand. It is one of Corbett's most famous triumphs that put an end to an eight-year-long reign of terror. At 165 pages its inclusion in the earlier collection was not possible. But, we couldn't disappoint our readers and have included extracts here.
Sportsman, conservationist, and skilled chronicler, there has never perhaps been another who has brought alive India's dense jungles and their teeming wildlife in the loving detail that Jim Corbett offers in his writing. We hope our readers will enjoy this new addition to OUP's Corbett corpus.
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