Jim Corbett became my hero when I was a teenager. My Dad had an old book club copy of Man-Eaters of Kumaon, first published in India in 1944. I read Man-eaters for a book report in the 1960’s and it was better than any fiction I had ever read.
Jim Corbett was the ultimate adventurer and outdoorsman. Shooting tigers for sport was no longer cool (and I think it was probably never cool to kill animals that could not be eaten or worn), when Jim Corbett lived in India. But he was an exceptional hunter and there was still a niche need for his ability as a marksman.
Corbett became the go-to tracker and hunter of problem tigers in India before there was any such thing as a list of endangered species.
Furthermore, Corbett was an extraordinarily gifted storyteller.
Corbett writes, “A man-eating tiger is a tiger that has been compelled, through stress of circumstances beyond its control, to adopt a diet alien to it.” Nine-times out of ten the tiger had been wounded in a fight with some other wild animal, for example, a porcupine.
Corbett, an Englishman born and raised in India, chronicled his narratives masterfully. With the international success of Man-Eaters of Kumaon, Corbett authored several other collections of his heart-stopping adventures. I have read them all. His volumes hold a place of honor in my library.