In a full portrait of one of the world's most beloved animal writers, the author reveals the man behind the myth, exploring his tragedies and triumphs in detail.
"Fans of James Herriot will relish this affectionate biography of the gentle Yorkshire vet who charmed millions with his humorous and poignant tales of his life as a country veterinarian. Born James Alfred Wight and raised in a working-class Glasgow slum, he adopted the pen name of James Herriot when he authored his first book. After graduating from Glasgow Veterinary College in 1941, Alf was hired by Donald Sinclair to assist him in reviving his moribund veterinary practice in the picturesque yet primitive Yorkshire Dales. Subsequently, Donald Sinclair and his brother Brian served as the prototypes for the enormously popular characters of Siegfried and Tristan Famon featured in the Herriot books. Over 50 when he published his first book, Alf was amazed and unprepared for his rapid rise to fame and fortune. Though the author of a string of best-selling books that inspired the delightful television series All Creatures Great and Small, Alf remained a working vet. A must read for both Herriot admirers and animal lovers. --Margaret Flanagan"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Herriot (1916-1995), who became a celebrity with his stories of life as a country vet, was born James Alfred (Alf) Wight, a Scotsman who grew up in poverty in Glasgow. A self-effacing man, he once remarked, "I make myself as colourless as possible." Because of this, and the fact that he fictionalized his life as well as his books, he remains a mystery even in this candid biography by a long-time friend. Since Wight never discussed his early years, Lord (Ghosts of King Solomon's Mines) fills in his background with descriptions of working-class life in Glasgow in the 1920s and '30s and of Wight's alma mater, Glasgow Veterinary College. To understand his professional and personal relationships, especially with his wife, Joan, and with Donald Sinclair, the owner of the Yorkshire veterinary clinic where Wight practiced for more than 50 years, Lord relies on the observations of Wight's friends and acquaintances. Wight comes across as likable but elusive, a thoroughly professional writer who persisted until, in middle age, he succeeded in getting published and then learned to tailor his books to the market. Photos. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
|| New York :Carroll & Graf Publishers,1997
||1st Carroll & Graf ed.
xi, 276 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm