The Real James Herriot: A Memoir of My Father

The Real James Herriot: A Memoir of My Father

by James Wight
4.4 21

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Overview

The Real James Herriot: A Memoir of My Father by James Wight

No one is better poised to write the biography of James Herriot than the son who worked alongside him in the Yorkshire veterinary practice when Herriot became an internationally bestselling author. Now, in this warm and poignant memoir, Jim Wight talks about his father--the beloved veterinarian whom his family had to share with half the world.

Alf Wight (aka James Herriot) grew up in Glasgow, where he lived during a happy rough-and-tumble childhood and then through the challenging years of training at the Glasgow Veterinary College. The story of how the young vet later traveled to the small Yorkshire town of Thirsk, aka Darrowby, to take the job of assistant vet is one that is well known through James Herriot's internationally celebrated books and the popular All Creatures Great and Small television series.

But Jim Wight's biography ventures beyond the trials and tribulations of his father's life as a veterinarian to reveal the man behind the stories--the private individual who refused to allow fame and wealth to interfere with his practice or his family. With access to all of his father's papers, correspondence, manuscripts, and photographs--and intimate remembrances of all the farmers, locals, and friends who populate the James Herriot books--only Jim Wight could write this definitive biography of the man who was not only his father but his best friend.

NOTE: This edition does not include a photo insert.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307790927
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/27/2011
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 102,024
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

Jim Wight, born in 1943, followed in his father's footsteps at the Glasgow Veterinary College, which by then was part of the University of Glasgow, graduating in 1966. In 1967 he joined the practice of Sinclair and Wight in Thirsk, working alongside his father and Donald Sinclair (aka Siegfried Famon) for the next twenty years, when Alf Wight retired. He is still a member of the practice.

Jim Wight and his wife, Gill, have a son and two daughters. They live in a village below Sutton Bank near Thirsk.


From the Hardcover edition.

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The Real James Herriot 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the paperback section of my college's bookstore, in 1975, I bought what I intended as a Christmas gift for an elderly lady who'd been kind to me in a strange city. Luckily I read its first chapter before I wrapped it, and I wound up keeping the book as a result. I couldn't imagine my sweet elderly friend reacting to a graphic calving except by turning green - but I fell in love with All Things Bright and Beautiful, by James Herriot. I wasn't alone. Readers all over the world, and in the United States especially, fell in love with the writing of a Yorkshire veterinarian who had nothing published until after his 25th wedding anniversary. I knew vaguely that 'James Herriot' was a pseudonym, and that his books - while presented as fiction - were solidly based on real-life characters and events. But that's all I knew, going into this biography of James Alfred 'Alf' Wight that's authored by his son Jim. Yes, 'Jimmy' from the books, who took on this task at the urging of his father's publisher after Alf Wight's death. Jim Wight doesn't profess to be a writer. He's simply a son telling his father's life story, based on considerable research as well as on his own memories. The result is a loving but honest portrait of a wonderful but far from perfect man, who always - even after writing made him a millionaire - thought of himself first, last, and always as a practicing veterinarian. It's a marvelous character study that no Herriot fan should miss.
Richard Haldeman More than 1 year ago
Alf Wights books were the most enjoyable reading of my 63 years of life. This book brought closure and understanding of the real people and situations involved. I am so happy to have read this! Thank You so much Jim Wight for giving me the opportunity to do so!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read! Wonderful story in the tradition of the James Herrot books. I loved meeting the people behind the beloved characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a nice find since I've had Herriot-withdrawal with the passing of the author's father a number of years ago. The author's treatment of the subject matter is largely balanced, although, reasonably enough, it shows a son's fond bias now and then. His father's books had wonderful, warm, engaging characters and I enjoyed reading what contributed to Wight Sr.'s own character as well as the basis for the Darrowby residents and Skeldale House circle. I also recognized portions where the author inherited some of his father's gift of storytelling.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was such a pleasure to read this memoir from the son of one of my favorite authors. It has been almost a decade since the passing of Alf Wight (James Herriot) and his good natured, warm reflections on the people he served as a veternarian in England have been sorely missed. I am very thankful that his son wrote this book; he seems to have the same warm affection and eye for humor that his father did. It was fascinating to read about the continuing lives of 'Sigfried' and 'Tristan' as well as 'Helen' and to know how well Rosie and James fared as well. All of them became like family members through James Herriot's books, and James Wight's memories in this tome keeps them alive and dear in our hearts. Thank you, Dr. Wight, for writing and sharing this funny, sweet, and heartbreakingly joyous book about your father, your family, and the continuing lives in the Yorkshire Dales.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I knew I would like 'The Real James Herriot' a lot, but little did I know how much. This is a very fine book: one for all James Herriot fans. Jim Wight introduces you to his dad, Alf Wight in a way nobody else could. This book is much worth the time to read!!!
TinkyWinky More than 1 year ago
This is a must read, especially if you have read any of the books written by, James Herriot. His son has a great wit and writes much like his dad. The book gives you even a greater insight on the real man, his love, dedication, commitment, and passion for his family,friends and the animals. The humor is great, written in such a way that you must force yourself to put it down. You will leave the pages of this book not only more informed about the life of a vet but a good feeling, ... knowing that such a man and his amazing family does exist. I bought several copies for friends. James Herriot was not only a great vet and writer but has inspired many people to take up the veterinary practice. His son is also amazing. My vet was one, who as a child read his works and later became a grand vet. I love this book!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did not want this book end. 30yrs after reading my first Herriot Forever a fan
GardenLady42 More than 1 year ago
This is a nice biography of the "real" vet who wrote as James Herriot. From his son's point of view, we see the man behind the name. Though not quite as gifted a writer as his father, Jim Wight makes us see his dad as the man he was--father, friend & of course, veterinary surgeon. Like most fans of James Herriot's books, I wish I had had the chance to know the man, he sounds like a wonderful one. Nice pictures of Mr. Wight, his family & those who portrayed him & his colleagues. This one stays on the shelf of my library!
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