James Herriot by Michael J. Rossi
A Critical Companion (Critical Companions to Popular Contemporary

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Synopsis

This study examines James Herriot's five major books as carefully crafted volumes of autobiography based on the building block of the short story. In each of these works Herriot explores the fundamental choice of values underlying a happy and successful life. In his vision the bonds of affection and mutual dependence between all creatures, human and animal, form an enduring theme that lies at the heart of the choices he makes in his personal and professional life. This study will help the reader to understand the relationship between Herriot's stories and each book as a whole and to appreciate Herriot's work in the context of twentieth-century anxieties about identity and meaning.

Following a biographical chapter that describes the relationship between Herriot's life and literary work, Rossi discusses the genre of autobiography, the relationship between truth and fiction in modern autobiography, and Herriot's use of the genre. A separate chapter is then devoted to each of Herriot's works in turn: All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, All Things Wise and Wonderful, The Lord God Made Them All, and ^Every Living Thing. The discussion of each work includes sections on plot development and narrative structure, character development, thematic issues, and alternative critical approaches that may be fruitfully applied to the book. Helpful appendices contain identifications of minor characters in the works. A complete bibliography of all of James Herriot's works, critical sources, and a listing of reviews of all of his works completes the volume. Because of the popularity of Herriot's work among adults and young adults this companion will be a key purchase for school and public libraries.

 

About Michael J. Rossi

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James Herriot was born James Alfred Wight in Sunderland, England on October 3, 1916. He and his family moved to Glasgow, Scotland in late October of 1916. Herriot attended Yoker Primary School from August 1921 to June 1928. He went on to attend Hillhead High School from September 1928 to 30 June 1933, before graduating from Glasgow Veterinary College in 1939. Herriot got a job at the Yorkshire practice of J. Donald Sinclair in 1940. He was a part of the Royal Air Force from 1941 to 1943. In 1966 Herriot began writing at the age of 50. In 1972, All Creatures Great and Small is published, followed by All Things Bright and Beautiful in 1974. On February 4, 1975, Herriot received the American Veterinary Medical Association's Award of Appreciation. In 1977, All Things Wise and Wonderful is published, and a year later the BBC television series of All Creatues Great and Small begins. In 1979, Herriot receives the Order of the British Empire and honorary Litt.D. From Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. He follows that honor with the publication of The Lord God Made Them All in 1981.The following year, Herriot is made a fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and in 1983, receives an honorary D.V.Sc. from Liverpool University. Nearly a decade later, Herriot publishes Every Living Thing in 1992. He had written 15 books, which sold 50 million copies in 20 countries and worked as a vet for over 50 years before finally retiring. James Herriot died February 23, 1995, at the age of 78 of cancer.
 
Published January 28, 1997 by Greenwood. 240 pages
Genres: Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Literature & Fiction, Professional & Technical, Biographies & Memoirs, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Non-fiction

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