Thomasina - Paul GallicoLondon: Michael Joseph, 1957, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Good+ Dust Wrapper. Matt paper dust wrapper has insignificant edgewear and is a touch faded with heavier toning to the spine, and the price clipped. Previous owners' name and date to the first blank. A little age-toning to the edges of the text block. The contents complete, clean and tight.
From the cover: “If it is family you go by, writes Thomasina, beloved of Mary Ruadh, seven year old daughter of veterinary surgeon Andrew MacDhui of Inveranoch in Argyll, then you will certainly, be impressed with mine, for I am a relative of that Jennie — Jennie Baldrin of Glasgow — about whose life and times and adventures in London, aboard ship and elsewhere, a whole book has been written and published.
Jennie was Thomasina’s great-aunt, and as everyone knows who has read her story, a saint, whereas Thomasina in describing the amazing adventure that befell her is inclined to dip her pen in acid and sometimes take the narrow view, imperfections perhaps to be forgiven in one charged with the task of describing her own murder.
In this book, the first which Paul Gallico has ever consented to write with a collaborator — the collaborator being of course Thomasina — the life, death and subsequent incarnation of this somewhat vain and opinionated little lady is inextricably enmeshed with the fate of Andrew MacDhui, the Scottish veterinary surgeon, his daughter Mary Ruadh whose heart he broke, and the red witch of Glen Ardrath who did not look like a witch at all, but only a simple girl with grey-green eyes, copper-coloured plaits and a smile so ruefully tender that to look upon it was to love her.
Selfishly, Thomasina believes it is her story, but it is really the story of a lonely child; of a strange girl whose life was devoted to the winged and four-footed creatures of glen and forest; and of an animal doctor who loved neither God, man nor beast… and of the strange and satisfying design that was woven for them all.”