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Books > History > Jim Corbett of Kumaon
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Jim Corbett of Kumaon
Jim Corbett of Kumaon
Description
Back of the Book

Jim Corbett (1875-1955) was born in Naini Tal and spent most of his life in Kumaon. He is still remembered as a hero in the region and his fame worldwide grows undimmed thanks to the books he wrote.

When it originally appeared in a limited edition in 1979, Mr. Kala's Jim Corbett of Kumaon was the first extended biography to be published of the great man. Since then others less familiar with Corbett and the region he trod have written on him; but Mr. Kala's work remains an important and pioneering source book and perhaps because he too belongs to the mountains of Kumaon and Garhwal so loved by Corbett, this book evokes Corbett's life and world with a knowledge and authenticity lacking in other books on the subject.

In preparing the second edition of Jim Corbett of Kumaon, the author revised the text extensively and added some new material. The book has been widely spoken of by Corbett fans for many years, but remained unavailable for too long. This paperback edition will be widely welcomed by a new generation of readers.

Mr. D.c. Kala, a former News Editor with a leading Delhi paper, lives in Ranikhet amidst deodhar trees. His biography of Frederick 'Pahari' Wilson, an early White hunter and timber magnate who operated in the Bhagirath valley, will be published shortly by Ravi Dayal Publisher.

Preface

This book is for Corbett fans in repayment of a debt India owes the hunter. Unashamedly, I must admit a lot of it is Corbett rewritten. All his six available books of the seven he wrote have been screened for biographical material. But there are new facts as well over and above the ones provided by Corbett himself and his three earlier biographers: Marjorie Clough, Director of the American Red Cross at Agra during World War II, who provided material to Current Biography (1946 edition); Lord Hailey, a former Governer of the United Provinces (modern Uttar Pradesh) who wrote the introduction to Tree Tops, Corbett's last book (1955); and Geoffrey Cumberlege of Oxford University press, London, who wrote the introduction to the World's Classics edition of Man-Eaters of Kumaon and The Temple Tiger(1960).

Cumberleg's is the best account based on a close study of Corbettiana and long talks with Corbetts sister Maggie. Marjorie Clough worked for the American National Red Cross till 1947 but my efforts to contact her at her last known address proved unsuccessful. Cumberlege also could not be contacted, and Hailey is dead.

In April 1971, while I was holidaying at Bhim Tal, someone pointed out to me Corbett's fishing lodge overlooking the dam-end of the lake. A talk with its former keeper's son, Chatur Singh, then gardener in the Canal Department there, led to some of his Indian friends who provided interesting guidelines. Then I called at the district record room, the registrar's office, the public library and the municipal board office and struck luck. I also met all the resident Whites and near-Whites of the area and his former tenants of the Kaladhungi village, Choti Haldwani.

The end result I must say is far from satisfactory because of the grudging response from government departments which were approached to dig up old records. But from the kind people of Naini Tal I received enormous cooperation. Without it even this attempt, a base perhaps for a more resourceful biographer some day, would not have been possible.

Some two hundred letters went out to check on facts. The response was fair. One led to a trip to Bombay to meet R.E. Hawkins, former General Manager of Oxford University Press, India, who was kind enough to lead me on to earlier material and provided new facts.

The reader may note that the names of some places, threes, birds and animals have been spelled differently from Corbett's spellings. These are the correct spellings, for this biographer too has spent half his life in Kumaon. But I have retained Corbett's own spellings wherever I have quoted him.

Quotations taken from Corbett's books and referred to in the footnotes are from Corbett's books and referred to in the footnotes are from Man-Eaters of Kumaon, Peacock book, Penguin Books Ltd., 1970; The Man-Eating Leopard of Rudraprayag, Oxford University Press, 1948; My India, Oxford University Press (Champak Library edition), 1968; Jungle Lore, Oxford University Press, 1953; The Temple Tiger, Oxford University Press, 1965; and Tree Tops, Oxford University Press, 1955.

Contents
1.The Story1
2.The Corbetts7
3.Childhood18
4.Railway Days36
5.City Father and Businessman46
6. 'Carpet Sahib'59
7.Snakes, Spooks73
8.Hunter82
9.Naturalist96
10.Writer114
11.Just Jim121
12.Retreat to Africa129
13.The Wills146
14.The Memorials150
Appendix: Poem of the Panther161

Jim Corbett of Kumaon

Item Code:
IDJ818
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
2006
ISBN:
8175300604
Size:
8.3" X 5.2"
Pages:
162 (Illustrated in Black & White)
Price:
$18.00   Shipping Free
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Back of the Book

Jim Corbett (1875-1955) was born in Naini Tal and spent most of his life in Kumaon. He is still remembered as a hero in the region and his fame worldwide grows undimmed thanks to the books he wrote.

When it originally appeared in a limited edition in 1979, Mr. Kala's Jim Corbett of Kumaon was the first extended biography to be published of the great man. Since then others less familiar with Corbett and the region he trod have written on him; but Mr. Kala's work remains an important and pioneering source book and perhaps because he too belongs to the mountains of Kumaon and Garhwal so loved by Corbett, this book evokes Corbett's life and world with a knowledge and authenticity lacking in other books on the subject.

In preparing the second edition of Jim Corbett of Kumaon, the author revised the text extensively and added some new material. The book has been widely spoken of by Corbett fans for many years, but remained unavailable for too long. This paperback edition will be widely welcomed by a new generation of readers.

Mr. D.c. Kala, a former News Editor with a leading Delhi paper, lives in Ranikhet amidst deodhar trees. His biography of Frederick 'Pahari' Wilson, an early White hunter and timber magnate who operated in the Bhagirath valley, will be published shortly by Ravi Dayal Publisher.

Preface

This book is for Corbett fans in repayment of a debt India owes the hunter. Unashamedly, I must admit a lot of it is Corbett rewritten. All his six available books of the seven he wrote have been screened for biographical material. But there are new facts as well over and above the ones provided by Corbett himself and his three earlier biographers: Marjorie Clough, Director of the American Red Cross at Agra during World War II, who provided material to Current Biography (1946 edition); Lord Hailey, a former Governer of the United Provinces (modern Uttar Pradesh) who wrote the introduction to Tree Tops, Corbett's last book (1955); and Geoffrey Cumberlege of Oxford University press, London, who wrote the introduction to the World's Classics edition of Man-Eaters of Kumaon and The Temple Tiger(1960).

Cumberleg's is the best account based on a close study of Corbettiana and long talks with Corbetts sister Maggie. Marjorie Clough worked for the American National Red Cross till 1947 but my efforts to contact her at her last known address proved unsuccessful. Cumberlege also could not be contacted, and Hailey is dead.

In April 1971, while I was holidaying at Bhim Tal, someone pointed out to me Corbett's fishing lodge overlooking the dam-end of the lake. A talk with its former keeper's son, Chatur Singh, then gardener in the Canal Department there, led to some of his Indian friends who provided interesting guidelines. Then I called at the district record room, the registrar's office, the public library and the municipal board office and struck luck. I also met all the resident Whites and near-Whites of the area and his former tenants of the Kaladhungi village, Choti Haldwani.

The end result I must say is far from satisfactory because of the grudging response from government departments which were approached to dig up old records. But from the kind people of Naini Tal I received enormous cooperation. Without it even this attempt, a base perhaps for a more resourceful biographer some day, would not have been possible.

Some two hundred letters went out to check on facts. The response was fair. One led to a trip to Bombay to meet R.E. Hawkins, former General Manager of Oxford University Press, India, who was kind enough to lead me on to earlier material and provided new facts.

The reader may note that the names of some places, threes, birds and animals have been spelled differently from Corbett's spellings. These are the correct spellings, for this biographer too has spent half his life in Kumaon. But I have retained Corbett's own spellings wherever I have quoted him.

Quotations taken from Corbett's books and referred to in the footnotes are from Corbett's books and referred to in the footnotes are from Man-Eaters of Kumaon, Peacock book, Penguin Books Ltd., 1970; The Man-Eating Leopard of Rudraprayag, Oxford University Press, 1948; My India, Oxford University Press (Champak Library edition), 1968; Jungle Lore, Oxford University Press, 1953; The Temple Tiger, Oxford University Press, 1965; and Tree Tops, Oxford University Press, 1955.

Contents
1.The Story1
2.The Corbetts7
3.Childhood18
4.Railway Days36
5.City Father and Businessman46
6. 'Carpet Sahib'59
7.Snakes, Spooks73
8.Hunter82
9.Naturalist96
10.Writer114
11.Just Jim121
12.Retreat to Africa129
13.The Wills146
14.The Memorials150
Appendix: Poem of the Panther161
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