ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Edward James ‘Jim’ Corbett was an India-born British hunter-and-tracker-turned-naturalist and author. Corbett was born in Nainital, India, in 1875. He held the rank of colonel in the British Indian Army.
Corbett hunted many man-eating tigers and leopards in northern India. He usually hunted alone. Only his dog, Robin, would keep him company.
He was an avid wild photographer, too. Together with Frederick Walter Champion, he played a role in establishing the first national park in Kumaon. Post India’s Independence, this park was renamed Jim Corbett National Park.
During his lifetime, Corbett authored several books about his hunting adventures.
He retired to Kenya after India’s attained her independence. Corbett breathed his last in 1955.
The Jim Corbett Omnibus is a collection of three of the best books authored by Jim Corbett – Man-Eaters of Kumaon, The Temple Tiger and More Man-Eaters of Kumaon, and The Man-Eating Leopard of Rudraprayag.
In his introductory note, Corbett emphatically explains when and how a tiger or leopard becomes a man-eater. He speaks more like a conservationist than a hunter. His admiration for these wild cats is evident in the way he describes them.
In the first book, Man-Eaters of Kumaon, Corbett has recollected in detail how he tracked and hunted down some of the most prolific man-eaters who had terrorized the Kumaon region. An entire chapter is dedicated to his companion – his dog, Robin.
The second book, The Temple Tiger and More Man-Eaters of Kumaon, is an extension of his adventures as he went about hunting man-eating tigers across the Kumaon region.
The last book in this omnibus, The Man-Eating Leopard of Rudraprayag, is – as is evident from the title – dedicated to leopards.
Overall, however, the book has a lot more to it than slaying tigers. In fact, in the last chapter of the book, Just Tigers, Corbett stresses the importance of saving tigers by encouraging people to shoot them with cameras than with rifles.
WHAT WE LIKED ABOUT THE JIM CORBETT OMNIBUS
Jim Corbett has captured the imagination of generations through his series of books. Seeing a tiger in the wild is a dream of many. To read about these ferocious tigers in their natural habitat transports the readers to another world.
While Jim Corbett wrote about his hunting adventures wherein he encountered many a man-eating tiger, he always strongly advocated the necessity to protect and conserve these feline beasts.
Even in The Jim Corbett Omnibus, he never portrayed any of these tigers, like the Bachelor of Powalgarh or the Chuka man-eater, as some villainous bloodthirsty beasts. He rather gave an in-depth account of their beauty, strength, and awe-inspiring sizes.
Corbett knew very well how to keep his readers on the edges of their seats while describing each hunt, the near misses, and his final encounters with these marvelous animals.
His dedication to documenting and protecting wildlife not only in India but worldwide is an inspiration. Part of the remarkable growth in India’s tiger population is down to his work, which motivated naturalists and conservationists in the generations to follow.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER ABOUT THE JIM CORBETT OMNIBUS
It would take an extraordinarily critical eye to find fault with this peach of a book.
The lesson was over for that morning, and as we returned home it would have been difficult to say which of us was the more proud – Robin, at bringing home his first bird, or I, at having picked a winner out of a filthy basket.
Superstition, I am convinced, is a mental complaint similar to measles in that it attacks an individual or a community while leaving others immune.
The Jim Corbett Omnibus is a suitable read for all age groups. One can start reading just about any story from the book at random and still have a good time. Reading this book while traveling or vacationing seems to amplify its appeal even further.
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