Start reading The Real James Herriot: The Authorized Biography on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device


Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
The Real James Herriot: The Authorized Biography

The Real James Herriot: The Authorized Biography [Kindle Edition]

Jim Wight
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
Kindle Price: £4.68 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £5.31 (53%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £4.68  
Hardcover --  
Paperback £6.99  
Kindle Summer Sale: Over 500 Books from £0.99
Have you seen the Kindle Summer Sale yet? Browse selected books from popular authors and debut novelists, including new releases and bestsellers. Learn more

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product Description


" Inspiring and heartwarming . . . A fascinating look at the man behind the bestselling books that touched so many lives." --JACK CANFIELD Author of Chicken Soup for the Soul " Detailed and thorough . . . The real-life models for the colorful characters and incidents in the Herriot books are lovingly explained throughout, making the book feel like an earnest 'making of' documentary." --The New York Times Book Review

Product Description

After qualifying as a vet in 1939, Alf Wight, aka James Herriot, moved to a veterinary practice in Thirsk. He was over fifty when his first book of stories about life as a Yorkshire vet was published, giving birth to some of Yorkshire's most famous and much-loved literary characters. Although he brought fame and fortune to himself and those around him, Alf Wight remained an intensely private person, respected and trusted by those whose animals he cared for, and adored by millions of fans. This illuminating biography reveals the real man behind the title 'The World's Most Famous Vet'.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2167 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (26 Oct 2000)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI91ZS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,723 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A son's tribute 1 April 2006
Any man who has lost a beloved father will identify with the sentiments of the author in wanting to pay tribute to the man who has gone. I went to school with the Wight children and knew James and his partner professionally before they were famous. I found Jim's book true to life and very moving.
I was surprised to learn that the famous vet had no professional detachment whatsoever when it came to his own dogs.
But what moved me most was his own perceived inability to express his love to his son. A man may be a brilliant communicator in print yet fail to express himself to his own child.
I am forever indebted to James for bringing my Yorkshire home back to life when I lived thousands of miles away. I am indebted to Jim for a fine biography of a great man. and a reminder to be open emotionally with one's children
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic insight into the real James Herriot 11 Jun 2002
By A Customer
It may seem impossible for someone to follow in the steps of Alf Wight, but his son certainly has inherited his fathers ability to write. Although a different style, Jim Wight has managed to portray the life of his father perfectly. His account is both honest and sensitive and captures his enourmous respect for his father.
Jim Wight had an huge amount of information to draw on and more importantly he lived and worked with his father which is a perspective which most biographys lack.
An excellent book.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An eye opener 22 Jan 2001
What is interesting about this book is how similar Jim Wights writing style is to his fathers.You could almost believe James Herriot had written it. Anyone who is a fan of James Herriot will enjoy this autobography and will be surprised by some of it. Who would have thought that James Herriot once had a nervous breakdown or that his partner threatened to sue him over his portrayal as the character Siegfried. There is plenty here that you will not have heard about before and plenty you would expect about the Yorkshire vet and world famous author.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a good read 4 Jan 2010
By J. Kirk
I have enjoyed the Herriot books for years, both for their humour and also the genuine affection the writer showed for his subject. I'd always wondered about the real James Herriot and was very pleased to receive this book for Christmas. I read it very quickly and easily - the book is mostly factual, with little by way of analysis - but I did feel it could have used a slightly firmer hand in the editing process; there is a lot of duplication and an excess (in my opinion) of superlatives. It also lacks narrative flow in some chapters, but taking into consideration the writer and his subject, and also that this is the writer's first book, it is well structured and provides as honest a view as a son could ever hope to show of his father.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is an interesting and well written book. 7 Feb 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is written by James Herriot's son Jim Wight. Jim Wight's love and pride of his father shines through his book. It was delightful to read his perspective on their family life which was fictionalised by Jim Herriot, or Alf Wight, in his own books. It was particularly interesting to read of Alf Wight's childhood in Glasgow, which he did not write about himself.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real inspirational story of a grand fella! 10 Jan 2006
Having grown up with the TV series, and revisited the programmes thanks to Satellite TV in the UK - I thought I would read the book about the real man, behind James Herriot. I read a wonderful story about what is possible if you have a passion for something and try hard enough in life. However, I was most touched with a man who at heart did not seek fame, he just wanted to be a good vet, a wonderful father to his children and grandchildren and a loving husband. I believe that in the book you soon discover that Alf Wight was all of those. A great read, and a pleasure to know more about the man behind James Herriott. A must read for fans of the books or the TV series.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blood is thicker than water. 8 Jan 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you're interested in this book and you're reading this review it's very likely that you've already read all of James Herriot's extraordinary adventures and deeply enjoyed them, as I did. If so, you won't be disappointed by this fascinating journey into his life, written by his son Jim with a style so brisk and lively that it has very little to envy to his father's. I read James Herriot's books more than 10 years ago, but this biography just brought back all the pleasure of that reading. Of course, it's not a very impartial biography, nor it would be logical to expect it from a son. But if you're not in search of truth at all costs but just of an overall accurate account of James Herriot's life, if you want to know why he chose a pen name and why that pen name, if you want to know the amazing story behind the escalation of an ordinary country vet to the peak of success as a writer... then buy this book, sit comfortably in your armchair and prepare to relax.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real James Herriot 1 Feb 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A thoroughly entertaining book, well written by the man who knew "James Herriot" best, his son.It brings to life the man behind the stories and his son has described with love and affection the man who was his father. I only have one criticism, I felt that Jim Wight tended to jump back and forth too much,
I would have preferred a smoother plot line, but that said I strongly reccommend this book to any James Herriot fan.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
really good read
Published 20 days ago by Geoff
5.0 out of 5 stars The James Herriot Manual you have to read
You have to read this if only to put the whole James Herriot series into correct context and time line.
Published 21 days ago by R. A. Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Alf Wight's story
I really enjoyed this book, it was really good to read the story behind the story as it were.
Published 26 days ago by Ms. A. L. Story
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable.
I actually read this book on kindle but also bought a cheap second hand book version because the many excellent photos are too small to view on a kindle. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Elizabeth
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting to know the Vet
If you've enjoyed the James Herriot stories, this biography fills in the gaps about this gentle man with his love of family, animals and Yorkshire.
Published 2 months ago by Alice
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real James Herriot
Having recently re-read the original James Herriot novels, it was great to read about the real man, as written by his son. Read more
Published 2 months ago by H. Brock
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting,informative and entertaining
I enjoy every page of this biography. In addition to depicting almost every detail of the real James Herriot's life it also gives you an insight into what life was like in pre-war... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dobrocsi Laszlo
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a wonderful book by his son,A very good read.
The whole James Herriot story is fascinating and this book gives a honest insite to the man himself from his own son.
Published 5 months ago by T P Jerome
5.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting and enjoyable read.
This is a good book for anyone who loved the James Herriot books.

I was rather cautious about it to start with but Jim has just the same easy style as his father had and... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Frankie
4.0 out of 5 stars An Affectionate Portrait of a Father, Vet & Writer
'James Herriot's' books are among my favourites and I reread them annually. Having being disappointed by a previous biography (Graham Lord's) I was interested to read one by a... Read more
Published 8 months ago by P. R. Scott
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category