Hector Hugh Munro first used Saki, cupbearer in THE RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KHAYYAM, as a pseudonym when, in 1894, in the manner of Lewis Carroll, he wrote political sketches for THE WESTMINSTER GAZETTE, later published as THE WESTMINSTER ALICE in 1902. As these literary affinities suggest, the work of Saki himself is characterized by wit, whimsicality, an acute sense of humor, and a smiling acceptance of the less delectable truths of human existence.
Reginald is imaginary like the other characters in the fifteen REGINALD sketches; he is a type composed of several young men studied by Saki during the years he lived in London. Complacently good-looking, somewhat more than meticulously well dressed, and addicted to gossip, he moves easily, despite a strong penchant for mischief, in upper-class society. Frequenting good hotels, garden parties, and the well-staffed homes of his eminently respectable friends, he is an earlier version of Clovis Sangrail, who observes, narrates, enlivens, or simply glances into many of the later stories. Reginald’s escapades foreshadow the more elaborate ones indulged in by Clovis and others. After his chat, in the title story of REGINALD IN RUSSIA, with the Princess (who looks to him as if she habitually went out to feed hens in the rain), readers lose track of Reginald altogether, since the following stories are all independent of him and of one another. Even THE CHRONICLES OF...
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