I have never considered myself to be an animal person. I don’t dislike animals and I never want animals to be mistreated in any way. My reverence of all living things has grown as I get older. I don’t even kill spiders anymore. If a Black Widow is found then my husband is called to dispatch the poor thing.
So back in the mid 1970’s when my friend Thelma recommended that I read All Creatures Great and Small , the memoirs of James Herriot (AKA James Alfred “Alf” Wight) I really wasn’t enthusiastic. But I decided to at least give it a chance and boy am I glad I did! I then proceeded to read the whole series which gave me a thorough introduction to the Yorkshire Dales. The series featured real life veterinarians and the community they lived in and loved. I fell in love with the dales, James and Helen, Mrs. Hall, and the brothers Siegfried and Tristan Farnon. Not to mention Tricky Woo and his owner, the wealthy Mrs. Pumphrey.
My husband also read the series and thoroughly loved it. This is kinda a big deal as I am the reader of the family and he rarely reads for pleasure. Of course, this was before the internet and we really did have to provide our own entertainment. One other cool thing is that, unknown to me at the time, my husband’s Great Grandfather Alfred George Paget had been born in Leeds, Yorkshire, England, so our family had history in Yorkshire!
When in 1978, the TV series was aired on Masterpiece Theater in the US, we were thrilled. That was my first introduction to at least two of my favorite actors, Robert Hardy (Harry Potter films) and Peter Davison (Dr. Who). My husband and I watched and rewatched the original TV series as often as we could.
On January 10, 2021 in the US a new TV version of All Creatures Great and Small will start. It is available on PBS Masterpiece. My husband and I are looking forward to seeing this fresh new version filmed in the Yorkshire dales. I hope you check it out!