Jim Corbett, a famed British hunter, tracker and naturalist, who held the rank of a Colonel in the British-Indian Army was born on July 25, 1875. He is also revered as an author and has penned a number of successful books around nature, forest and animals. India’s oldest national park is named after him. He was a person with a good vision, a photographer, a writer and a true conservationist and naturalist. The then Government of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh used to call him frequently to kill man-eating tigers and leopards. At that time, these animals were preying on people in the nearby villages of the Garhwal and Kumaon divisions.
After finishing his sixth book, Tree Tops, Corbett died of heart attack on April 19, 1955. On his 66th death anniversary, here’s a look at 5 books written by Jim Corbett:
Man-Eaters of Kumaon (1944): This book gives details about the experiences that Corbett had in the Kumaon region of India from the 1900s to the 1930s. During this period, he was hunting man-eating Bengal tigers and Indian leopards. It contains ten fascinating stories of tracking and shooting man-eaters in the Indian Himalayas. The stories also contain incidental information on flora, fauna and village life.
The Man-Eating Leopard of Rudraprayag (1947): In this book, Corbett has given a carefully-detailed account of a notorious leopard that terrorized life in the hills of the colonial United Provinces. The Leopard of Rudraprayag was a male man-eater, said to have killed over 125 people. It was eventually killed by Corbett.
My India (1952): The colourfully written collection contains classic tales about the human beings who lived in the poignant rural world of the Indian foothills. In this book, Corbett displays great sympathy for these people through his observations of their life, traditions, and culture.
Jungle Lore (1953): It is the closest Corbett ever came to an autobiography. In the book, he has revealed about his life-long passion for the people, jungle, and animals of the Kumaon hills in the Himalayan foothills. In this book, he has also written about his despair at humanity’s estrangement from its environment.
My Kumaon: Uncollected Writings (2012): The book includes Corbett’s unpublished writings on man-eaters, nature, and his beloved Kumaon, personal letters, articles written for newspapers and gazettes by his contemporaries, and letters exchanged between Corbett and his publisher. It highlights Corbett’s engagement with the times in which he lived, his complete empathy with the people of Kumaon, his great understanding of tigers and leopards, and also the gradual development of his ideas about conservation and the need to preserve the tiger and its habitat.