Every time I find myself rereading a book I just finished, I suspect I’ve found a book worth mentioning to other people.
Nelson, a Golden Retriever we got from the rescue folks when he was four, had just died. Heartbroken, I turned to a book about authors and their dogs called Shaggy Muses
. It gives brief biographies of five essentially Nineteenth Century writers, with special attention to their relationships with their dogs. It worries the question of how this human-dog relationship affected their writing and their lives.
I was vaguely aware of the role Flash played in Elizabeth Barret Browning’s recovery from depression and Edith Wharton famously kept lapdogs, but I’d never heard of Emily Bronte’s Keeper or Emily Dickenson’s Carlo, or the series of dogs that helped sustain Virginia Woolf. More to the point of this book, I had never previously considered how these animals may have contributed to our literary heritage.
Through five brief biographies Maureen Adams
relates the troubled lives of these brilliant women. All five authors were compelled to survive Victorian era misanthropy, often with only their canine companions for support. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss this study in history, psychology and literature so I decided to recommend it to others.
The price of this book varies widely. Amazon has the hardback at the closeout price of $9.72, but the Kindle version is $13.18. In ePub, BoB sells it for $22.81, and Sony at $17.46, but Sony doesn’t list whether they’re selling it in BBeB or ePub format
. While I always prefer eBook versions, I got it first as an Audible download for one credit, then I bought Amazon’s closeout mainly because I’m cheap and also because I think my family will enjoy reading it too.