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Greyfriars Bobby: The Most Faithful Dog in the World. Jan Bondeson [Paperback]

Jan Bondeson


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Book Description

June 1 2012
No visitor to Edinburgh will miss the monument to Scotland's most famous dog, the little Skye terrier Greyfriars Bobby. This amazing dog, the most faithful in the world, kept vigil at his master's grave for fourteen long years. Many children's books, and three successful films, have been inspired by the affecting story of this little dog, said to be the most inspiring tale of love and loyalty ever heard. Every summer, Bobby's statue is surrounded by tourists from all over the world, some of whom weep profusely when they hear dog's pathetic story. In this book, the true story of Greyfriars Bobby will finally be told for the first time, using original sources. Was Bobby really the canine paragon of virtue he has been presumed to be, or was he an unconscious impostor, taking advantage of the notions about extreme canine fidelity that were current at the time? Includes 115 Illustrations

Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Amberley Publishing; 2nd Revised edition edition (June 1 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144560762X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1445607627
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 12.3 x 19.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g

Product Description

Review

Praise for the hardback published in 2011: 'Reveals there was more than one Greyfriars Bobby... all the evidence points to Scotland's most-loved pooch being two completely different dogs.' THE DAILY RECORD; 'There were two Greyfriars Bobbies!' THE SCOTS MAGAZINE; 'Greyfriars Bobby was a Victorian con trick. Jan Bondeson has uncovered evidence that there were in fact two Bobbies and that neither of them belonged to the man buried in Greyfriar's cemetery, Edinburgh, whose grave they sat on' THE DAILY MAIL; 'Greyfriars Bobby, the Victorian dog that held a 14-year vigil at the grave of its master, is actually a myth... a publicity stunt drummed up by local businessmen to attract custom to their corner of Edinburgh' THE DAILY TELEGRAPH.

About the Author

Jan Bondeson is a senior lecturer and consultant rheumatologist at Cardiff University. He is the author of seven critical acclaimed history books. He lives in Newport in Wales.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Research can build a stronger story Jan. 21 2013
By Thistle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This review is for the Kindle version of Greyfriars Bobby: The Most Faithful Dog in the World by Jan Bondeson. A news story about the planned auction of the plaster model for Bobby's bronze statue mentioned the book, so some web searching led to finding the book on Amazon. A nice feature of a digital copy is to click the number for a citation note, read the citation, and hit the back arrow to go back to reading. You can do this many times! Reading this on a Mac, the last 13% of the book is all the notes and citations to document the research.

I expected something controversial and instead found a long chronological recounting of events. Fortunately, the author has a very readable style. Some choices of adjectives made me wonder if the author likes looking down a long nose at the rest of us, but I just ignored the haughty tones (snickering at one really outlandish use, so perhaps it was humor that did not translate well) and enjoyed learning the history of a favorite character (up to current day, so including events just for Bobby's statue). Numerous illustrations and photographs of old Edinburgh add visual appeal. One reason for the four stars was the text describing how the alleged Bobby I and Bobby II dogs differed in appearance, but if both visuals are in the book, why not put them together at that point? I will be disappointed if after hunting for the referred to pictures to not find both in the book, but a hunting I have to go.

Bondeson includes stories of other dogs, both faithful (Hachikō, the Japanese Akito that waited for daily for a master who had died) and independent of masters (Owney, the U.S. railway mail dog).

Who should purchase this book? Anyone interested in historical stories about dogs, and definitely anone interested in Greyfriars Bobby. Should learning that possibly two dogs were running around with the name bother someone? Well, if reading the many books with contradictory stories does not bother you (was Bobby's master a shepherd, a farmer, a night watchman, or a local policeman?), why should reading one more that has yet more versions. This one has a lot of citations for the research is the only difference.

I must have seen the Disney movie version of Greyfriars Bobby as a child because I have always loved the story. As interesting as the research presented by the author is, I do wonder if more documentation could be found hiding in old archives. I wouldn't mind finding more information because it could add to the historical events (whether or not supporting Bondeson's conclusions), and what won't change is that Greyfriars Bobby is a story about a dog (man's best friend) in Scotland (land of my heart, even if not of my forebears).
3.0 out of 5 stars Skye Nov. 24 2013
By Gracie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought the wrong Greyfriars Bobby book so waiting for the Eleanor Atkinson one. It is o.k. it reminded me as a similar type of book like The Making of Gone With The Wind.
2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Description on Amazon Feb. 27 2012
By Rocky Fjord - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This has to be one of the dumbest descriptions of a book Amazon has ever
come up with. Leaves one with the impression that the author will set about
to crush the legend of the little dog. I wouldn't touch this book with that
kind of teaser.
ARRAY(0xad1d53fc)

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