The Great Grisby: Two Thousand Years of Exceptional Dogs by Mikita Brottman - review by Jonathan Mirsky

Jonathan Mirsky

Flesh & Fur

The Great Grisby: Two Thousand Years of Exceptional Dogs


William Collins 273pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

This is the only book I have read, and in eighty-one years I have read thousands, that has made me happy. Many others have interested, fascinated, taught, amazed or moved me, but only The Great Grisby made me not just contented or pleased, but actually happy. Mikita Brottman, a psychoanalyst, contends that her French bulldog, Grisby, ‘forms a bridge between my inner life and the “real world” out there, towards which I’m increasingly ambivalent’. These words alone could have done it.

It was not the twenty-six chapters on famous dogs dating back to 320 BC, owned by the likes of Alexander the Great, Tsar Nicholas II, Prince Albert, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Dickens and Galsworthy, gathered together with great learning lightly worn by Brottman, that touched my heart. Rather, it was her

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