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Celebrating James Herriot

50 Years of Animals, Humor, Romance and an Island...

On a bright summer day, a newly-qualified veterinary surgeon arrived in Yorkshire to begin his career.


This year, we're celebrating the 50th anniversary of his delightful and life-affirming memoirs.


I'm tying this in with my website's island mystery theme because, well, James Herriot's stories take place on an island (and there's a dash of mystery in his books). It's my excuse to share my favorite author here!


James Herriot's debut book appeared on the scene in the U.K. in 1970.

The following quotes and images celebrate the time when James Herriot first toured the farms of the Yorkshire Dales as a 1930's veterinarian.

If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.” 

— James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small

"There was a clarity in the air, a sense of space and airiness that made me feel I had shed something on the plain...The confinement of the city, the grime, the smoke—already they seemed to be falling away from me."


All Creatures Great and Small

“Cats are connoisseurs of comfort.” 

― James Herriot's Cat Stories

“At times it seemed unfair that I should be paid for my work; for driving out in the early morning with the fields glittering under the first pale sunshine and the wisps of mist still hanging on the high tops.” 


— All Creatures Great and Small

"I liked the look of the old house...The paint was flaking and the mortar looked crumbly...but there was a changeless elegance about the place."

All Creatures Great and Small

"In fact we were both a little dizzy and we cruised for hours around the countryside, getting out when we felt like it, walking among the hills, taking no account of time."


— All Creatures Great and Small

“I was prepared for solid worth, dullness and a total lack of charm. But as the bus groaned its way higher I began to wonder. The formless heights were resolving into high, grassy hills and wide valleys...Solid greystone farmhouses lay among islands of cultivated land which pushed bright green promontories up the hillsides into the dark tide of heather which lapped from the summits.” 

—  All Creatures Great and Small

James Herriot

50 Years of Timeless Stories

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