Saturday, December 22, 2007

James Herriot's Yorkshire, James Herriot

James Herriot's Yorkshire
James Herriot

I know some on Doug's board don't particularly like the work of James Herriot, but I do. His relentlessly positive attitude can be grating to some, I guess. Oh well. For me, his stories are a breath of fresh air, and now that I've been to England and Scotland I have a bit more appreciation for the place he lived and worked, as well as the character of the people there.

James Herriot's Yorkshire is a lightweight tour guide to parts of Yorkshire. It was published in 1979, so it may be somewhat dated now, but I rather doubt it's too far off.

Mostly that's because he's not trying to direct you, street by street, to some destination that may have met the wrecking ball twenty years ago. Instead he is trying to impart his love of Yorkshire and its history to those who would go there and look around. And it worked, at least for me. But I've had the advantage of visiting Northumbria and the Lake District, and I've met some of the people there. I found them warm and welcoming, and I found the countryside amazing. The Yorkshire presented here feels like an extension of the trip we took earlier this year.

As a guidebook, it won't do the job. You'll need maps and reservations and all kinds of things that aren't here. But as an introduction to the area and what it looks like - it's full of excellent photographs by Berry Brabbs - it's a success.

Recommended, particularly if you're going to visit this part of England and want an idea of what to expect.