I feel spoilt because I have received more than one great pre-Christmas book present from editors. One of them is Puss in Books, published by The British Library Publishing.
Catherine Britton’s richly illustrated book contains numerous examples of cats in books. It mentions nursery rhymes, children’s books, novels and many other sources. I thought I’ll write about it quickly as the one or the other may still be looking for a bookish present for a cat lover or anyone interested in cats in books.
The book as such is nice, with glossy paper and intense color illustrations.
Some of the earliest illustrations date back to the Egyptians but you can also find an illustration from Rudyard Kipling’s The Cat that Walked by Himself or of the Cheshire Cat, taken from Alice in Wonderland.
Fat Fredd’y s Cat has a chapter as well as Simon’s Cat and Splat the Cat.
One of the pictures I like the most is an engraving by Cornelis Vissher called The Large Cat from 1657.
As the blurb says the book is “a celebration of the feline wit, intelligence, aloofness and charm as presented in books, with examples from literature, folklore and popular culture.”
The book contains more than illustrations, it also offers a lot of information about the history of cats and how different cultures and societies saw them. It spans cultures as different as Egypt, England and Japan.