Under the Shadow of Man-eaters: The Life and Legend of Jim Corbett of Kumaon

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Orient Longman, 2001 - Hunters - 225 pages
Cleverly weaving narrative with excerpts from Corbett s books and drawing on in-dept interviews with Corbett s friends, this is another biography of a truly incredible man Jim Corbett of Kumaon legendary big game hunter turned naturalist, writer, photographer and humanist.

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Hi Jerry, Thanks a mill for this wonderful biography (the most complete one, I beleive) of a man I have revered since I first heard his stories at the age of 6 sitting on my father's lap and then in later years, read the books that fascinates me even to this day, taking me away from the hustle and bustle of this age to a time that we have almost forgotten. Though I have always been a fan of Corbett, there had been so little known about his personal life as he was a very self-effacing man. So, from this biography we can get a wealth of info regarding Corbett's ancestry, his childhood, his youth and the final legendary hunter/conservationist that he developed into.
But Jerry, if you do read this review, there are a few points I wish you could clarify for me:
1) You mention that Archie was born in 1879. That means, according to you, he was 4 years younger than Jim. But Corbett says, in his story, ROBIN, that he was 6 and his younger brother 4, when the faithful collie saved them from the infuriated she bear in the jungle. So according to Corbett, Archie was just 2 years younger to him; and must have been born in1877. Please let me know which is true.
2) The super-normal incident that Sir Eardley Wilmot writes about. Do you think it was about the Champawat bungalow incident that he was writing about? And did it happen on the second night of his stay?I ask because in the Champawat story it is to be noticed that on the morning of the beat, before setting out for his final encounter with the man-eater, he tells his men to pack up and leave the bungalow and wait for him at the first Champawat bungalow. Now, Corbett could not have known that he would definitely be able to shoot the man-eater that day. So it could only be because of the incident that he did not wish to stay in that bungalow any more. And since he did not transfer from the bungalow after the first night, it could be assumed that the incident did not take place the first night. Also the question comes up: Did the Tahshildar know about the bungalow? Was that the reason he had volunteered to stay with Corbett the first night? And did the fear of the supernatural entity make him change his mind even if he had to brave the man-eater that night to reach Champawat 4 miles away?-- S.K. Bose

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Of the three biographies on Corbett, UNDER THE SHADOW OF MAN EATERS is the best, as it is the only in depth biography written by an author who followed the trails of Jim Corbett from Naini Tal, India where he was born (1875) and brought up, and Kumaon hills where he roamed to track down the man eating tigers and leopards to Kenya where he spent his final years until his death there in April 1955. The author has traveled to many countries to meet and interview Corbett's surviving friends and relatives in India, England, Kenya, Tanzania, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Dubai and gathered a wealth of first hand information on Corbett that was never before published, including a friend's eyewitness account of Corbett's tracking down the Chirgudi leopard.
The author, Jerry Jaleel is also the founder and director of the Jim Corbett Foundation, established in 1994, after restoring Corbett's neglected grave in Nyeri, Kenya. The foundation today has members worldwide.
The book is profusely illustrated with photographs, and hailed by critics as the best biography of a great hunter, naturalist, author and humanitarian. The original edition book, published in 1997 as a limited card cover (soft) edition of 1000 copies numbered and signed by the author is available through safaribooks@shaw.ca for $25 + $7 Airmail postage to USA or $12 for international postage.

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