The title pulled me in, this is a subject close to my heart, and it was with great expectations that I undertook a study of this 2007 self published book. The spiel did make me aware the author had a heady bias to English Springers, and American style English Springers at that, but it was the lack of editing that destroys the adventure of this spaniel history for me.
Ok, I confess, I self-publish, may be that makes me more alert to bad layout or poor spelling and grammar checks, but this book is marred from cover to cover with these issues, including the use of illustrations greatly oversized so all you get is blocky unviewable pictures in more than one instance. The fault is the self publishers, the website and company offering this self publishing service advises publishers to print and view and review a book before releasing it for sale, sound advice!
The author does whisk the reader through the classic history of dogs and in particular spaniels, there is nothing outstanding or exciting or revealing in these early sections, but they do provide a nice sumamry to educate the reader or refresh one’s recall and memory.
Then there is a brisk look at trials and shows, and the more recent successful areas of endeavour including service and pets as therapy dogs. Then it is off onto list upon list of named but unillustrated English Springers, of value only to a really dedicated Springer historian with a fascination for the American evolution.
This is followed by a section featuring dogs in art with an emphasis on spaniels, and there are some nice samples in here.
Concluding the 320 page softcover are a bibliography with some minor notes on the titles, a couple of other snippets, and an index.
Overall for the canine historian, a low level primer, for the dog lover it could provide material of interest.
The internal pages are all b&w.