In the Bookcase


Book Review: Greyfriars Bobby

Greyfriars Bobby

Greyfriars Bobby

written by Eleanor Atkinson

220 pages
originally published in 1912

Bobby is a Skye Terrier who makes his abode in Greyfriars, Scotland. (When you say his name, make sure to pronounce it in a British/Scottish accent. Sounds better like that, of course.) This happy "little ruffian of a terrier" lived during Queen Victoria's reign--his true story begins in 1858 and takes the course of many years thereafter. Bobby has a very courageous story...

"It was a notable feat for a small creature whose tufted legs were not more than six inches in length, whose thatch of long hair almost swept the roadway and caught at every burr and bramble, and who was still so young that his nose could not be said to be educated."

The most important factor in Bobby's little life is Auld Jock, his constant companion and master. However, in the words of Auld Jock, "Bobby isna ma ain dog."--'Tis a sad fact, but true. Bobby is really a stray, although he knows with all his heart where his loyalties reside. Auld Jock and Bobby only have each other to rely on--no one else is let into their close-knit friendship.

"A hap, an' a stap, an' a loup, an' in ye gang. Loup in, laddie."

The Scottish accent and words grow on you as the book progresses. The glossary in the back is the only thing that guided me through some of the complicated conversations.

Bobby's merry life comes to an abrupt halt when the unthinkable happens. The very thing that made and completed his life is taken away. To other people, Auld Jock was just a shepherd, who nobody really remembers... except for one important friend. This is loyalty of a dog at its finest.

Greyfriars Bobby was written by Eleanor Atkinson in 1912. She lived in Indiana and was an author, journalist, and teacher. It is known that she at least visited Edinburgh once, giving her a starting place to write an account of this true story. Her version of Greyfriars Bobby was originally written for adults, but any age would enjoy the precious story. I think it is wonderful and delightful. Quite possibly it is my absolute favorite book.

{a photo of Bobby's statue in Greyfriars Kirkyard,
which was originally created in 1872,
and completely restored in 1985}

Download the Greyfriars Bobby e-book by clicking here. You can find more information about the author by reading this biography, reading her article on Wikipedia, and also by discovering more about this dog's legacy.

~*~click here to read more of my book reviews.

~*~this post is linked to: Book Love


  1. Thanks for the review! I'll have to read that someday.

  2. Such high praise! I have to add it to my TBR list! Thank you for following my blog My Bookshelf. I am a new follower to yours.

  3. I have never read the book but I loved the movie! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  4. Oh, I've heard this story many times from various different sources, but I absolutely didn't know that there was a book! This sounds adorable!

  5. Thanks for posting this with the link to the free ebook! I have seen the old old movie but never read the book. It really is a wonderful tale.

  6. I first became aware of this story through the movie. I didn't know it was based on a book and that the author was a fellow Hoosier.