'We had no antibiotics, few drugs. A lot of time was spent pouring things down cows' throats. The whole thing added up to a lot of laughs. There's more science now, but not so many laughs.'
We all know James Herriot, possibly the most famous vet in the world. But how did a young student named Alf Wight become the man who would charm millions of readers the world over?
Young Herriot tells the fascinating story of James Herriot's formative years at veterinary college. Set in Glasgow in the 1930s - pre-antibiotics, when veterinary practise was, as Herriot wrote, 'more art than science' - the book shines a light on his calling to work with animals (which began when he read an article in Meccano Magazine entitled 'Veterinary Surgery as a Career'), his early friendships and quest for knowledge at Glasgow's Veterinary College and the early development of his legendary compassion for animals.
Accompanying a major BBC drama series, Young Herriot uses previously unpublished diaries and casebooks from Herriot's days as a student to bring to life a fascinating time and place, and represents a thrilling new addition to the James Herriot canon.
JOHN LEWIS-STEMPEL is the author of a number of books, including Six Weeks, The Autobiography of a British Soldier, England: The Autobiography and The Wild Life. Coming from a long line of farmers and being a farmer himself, John has always had a warm admiration and respect for vets and is a long-time admirer of James Herriot.