Friday, January 27, 2012

Greyfriars Bobby by Elanor Atkinson

This book was published in 1912 by Eleanor Atkinson, and it was upon this version that the 1961 Walt Disney film called Greyfriars Bobby: The True Story was based. I have this film on DVD and it is available for borrowing by any student who reads the book. Considering that Atkinson had never been to Edinburgh, she captures the atmosphere of the city in the 1860s very well. Another book in the Little Library of Rescued Books, called The Story of Greyfriars Bobby by Forbes Macgregor, is a much more challenging read but gives a more accurate and more detailed history of both the city, and of the cemetery where the little dog was to spend most of his life. In the story the Skye terrier adores his master Auld Jock, and when the old man passes away, Bobby refuses to leave his grave in Greyfriars Cemetery in Edinburgh. During the day he spends time with the local orphans and eats at a local tavern, and despite concerted efforts by some of the city folk to have him evicted from the cemetery, he manages to faithfully return each night to sleep with his master. There is a small glossary at the back of the book to help readers with Scottish words such as fower (four), kirk (church), claes (clothes), deffle (devil) and so on...

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