A Book of Cats: Literary, Legendary and Historical

A Book of Cats: Literary, Legendary and Historical

Product no.: 978-1-78155-490-6
Cover price £12.99
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The cat - a goddess, an enigma, a playmate and a friend. Dorothy M. Stuart approaches her subject along four main roads: archaeology, history, legend and literature. The Ancient Egyptian Mau is here; the enchanted cats of Irish legend; the Gib of Gammer Gurton’s Needle. Hodge and Selima, Jeffry and Dinah refused to be left out; but there are less familiar examples, too: the cat which voluntarily shared the Earl of Southampton’s captivity in the Tower; the kitten in whose defence John Keats had a stand up fight with a brutal butcher-boy of Hampstead; the delinquent who at dead of night gnawed the strings of her master’s lute. Graymalkin, the witches’ familiar, comes into the picture; and we catch fascinating glimpses of two furry sympathizers licking the tears from Florence Nightingale’s cheeks, and of Cardinal Richelieu solemnly adding something on behalf of a cat and her kittens to the modest pension assigned by His Eminence to Mademoiselle Marie de Gournay, Montaigne’s ‘polished female friend’.

Dorothy Margaret Stuart is better known for her elegant and polished biographies, but in this short book we see a lighter side of her pen in an appreciation of feline company.


Dorothy Margaret Stuart, (1889-1963) was a British poet and writer. In 1924 she won a silver medal in the art competitions of the Olympic Games for her "Fencers' song" cycle, Sword Songs. Her other works include literary and historical biographies, historical non-fiction particularly concentrating on the lives of women and children, and history stories for children. She was a member of the English Association from 1930 onwards, edited its News-Letter and contributed essays and book reviews to its journal, English.

Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
Binding: paperback
Extent: 128 pages
Illustrations: 65 black-and-white illustrations

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