Sunday, October 03, 2010

Remembering... James Herriot

When I was a kid in the 70s, the work of James Herriot was everywhere. Whether in their original form or in compendium, those paperback books never failed to transport me to rural Yorkshire, to the time during and after World War II. They are at least partly responsible for the rampant Anglophilia infecting me to this day...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketBorn Alf Wight in Sunderland on this day in 1916, the man who became James Herriot was raised in Glasgow, before returning to England and establishing his veterinary practice in Thirsk. Wight wrote his first book, If They Could Only Talk, in 1969, and followed it with ten more before his death in February 1995. He used a pen name because he was still a practicing vet when he started writing them, and at that time vets were forbidden to advertise; apparently there was some concern at the time that writing books about his experiences would be breaking this rule.

To this day the works of James Herriot remain as heart-warming and wholesome as ever, their ongoing popularity a testament to the man who wrote them.
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Seumas Gagne said...

The PBS series All Creatures Great and Small was a lifeline for my Lincolnshire-born mother during the loneliest years of her marriage. I treasure that series for that alone.

michael sean morris said...

Yeah, the shows were very loyal to the books. By the time I saw the shows, I'd read all the books, and the characters were just as I'd pictured them.