Helen Young on James Herriot’s longevity – in The Conversation

Helen Young, lecturer in WLC, ponders the appeal of ‘All Creatures Great and Small’, in The Conversation on May 24 2022.

… It is 50 years since All Creatures Great and Small was first published. In the time since, more than 60 million copies of the semi-autobiographical series of books about life as a vet in the 1930s and 40s Yorkshire Dales have been sold. …

There have been two film and three television series adaptations of them (the most recent British TV adaptation aired in Australia earlier this year). And the 1940s house in Thirsk, Yorkshire, where Herriot (real name James Alfred Wight) lived and worked is now a museum, attracting visitors from all over the world. …

… With pet ownership on the rise animal stories will remain part of our culture. But it’s the vision of easy humanity in Herriot’s stories that has kept us coming back for more.

Read more: Pets and owners – you can learn a lot about one by studying the other

(photo: Diana Rigg plays Mrs Pumphrey in ‘All Creatures Great and Small’. Playground Entertainment)