Celebrating James Herriot

Animals, Humor, Drama, Romance and a Dash of Mystery...

Celebrating 50 years of a delightful book I love.


If Only They Could Talk was published in Britain in 1970. For Americans, our introduction to the book came two years later, when the first two British books were combined into All Creatures Great and Small. Here, I'm using the original publishing date with the American title. I don't want to wait until 2022 to celebrate here in the U.S.!

James Herriot's books became smash hits. What was a surprising outcome of their popularity? Veterinary schools saw a tremendous increase in applications. The books are still beloved reading 50 years later.

On a bright summer day, the newly-qualified veterinary surgeon arrived at 23 Kirkgate in Thirsk, Yorkshire to begin his career.


The following quotes and images celebrate a long-ago time when James Herriot  toured the farms of 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

In my stories, you'll find islands, mystery, friendship and danger. 

My novel, Mystery Shores, is set on a lighthouse island filled with secrets. 

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