Tuesday, March 23, 2010

More book reviews! Updated!

Today I have 3 books where the main character is an Irish Wolfhound, or a cross.

Boru: The Story of an Irish Wolfhound by J. Allan Dunn written in 1926.

This is the book I read first, I ordered it from Amazon. The story is set in the USA, and is of a winning show dog who finds himself on his own in the west. It was typical of the era, definitely reminds you of The Call of the Wild. I enjoyed it, but I felt the author had no real knowledge of IW.

Finn The Wolfhound by A.J. Dawson written in 1908.

This book was written before Boru, and after reading it, I can't help but think Boru was a copy of this story. A.J. Dawson's story was set in England and Australia, and also has a champion show dog surviving in the wilds. The advantage to this story is that it is partially based in fact. A.J. Dawson was a breeder of Irish Wolfhounds, he did have a champion dog, the dog's mother died as the one in the story did, and he did go to Australia and make his fortune. I enjoyed this story much more. The quirks and character of the IW was much better.

Jan, Son of Finn by A.J. Dawson written in 1928.

This story is a continuation of the previous one. The main character is an Irish Wolfhound and Bloodhound cross, the son of the IW from the previous story. It takes place in England and Canada, and while a good story, I didn't find it as engaging simply because the main character didn't have as much personality.

All three of these stories show the fascination the literary world had at that time with the wilderness. I found it especially poignant how the loyalty and faithfulness of the IW was emphasised, and was the turning point of the story. It is obviously a characteristic that has long been associated with the breed.

Both of A.J. Dawson's stories are available to read online at Internet Archive.

While browsing the Internet Archive, I found this book:
The Irish Wolfhound by George Augustus Graham published 1885
Captain G.A. Graham is the person most responsible for saving the IW breed. I'm beyoind excited to find his book, and read his thoughts on the breed, and how he brought about it's re-emergence.

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