Anderson and Corbett
Nine man-eaters and one rogue is the first person account of the captivating adventures of the famed hunter Kenneth Anderson. The stories are set in the 30’s and 40’s when Anderson was active chasing and eliminating man eating tigers and leopards in the erstwhile State of Mysore and Presidency of Madras. This book has not caught the attention of the world as much as Man Eaters of Kumaon written by Anderson’s more well-known counterpart Jim Corbett, whose hunting ground was the Kumaon region on the Himalayan slopes.
Corbett, as all great hunters, always had his quarry in the cross hairs and the story moves ahead giving the readers the impression that they are walking a step behind the author. However, this is limiting at times, because Corbett tells the story as seen by the hunter with his eye just above the barrel and finger on the trigger. Anderson, on the other hand, is a more avid student of nature. That takes his narration to a slightly wider canvass. One gets an intimate picture of the forest, its inhabitants (including the flora) and their behaviour patterns when reading Anderson. His description is very effective in painting a lively picture in the mental eye of the reader. Anderson has written several books – on jungles and hunting. His works are surely a shade above Corbett’s when it comes to literary value.
Both hunters turned conservationists in the latter part of their life. Corbett lends his name to the first national park of India. But, their books clearly tell us that they were trophy hunters at some point of time in their career. Interestingly, hunters were called sportsmen those days. Any reference to a sportsman in the books written by Anderson and Corbett point to a fellow hunter involved in the sport of shooting animals.
Thrilling stories from Anderson and Corbett give us the vicarious pleasure of tracking man-eaters and take us on a wonderful study tour of Indian forests.