Cecil Aldin’s Dogs of Character, 1927

Cecil Aldin (1870-1935) was a British artist and illustrator, known for his portrayal of animals and country sports. Here at NSLM we have many books illustrated by him, and quite a few written by him, too. I find his art and his writing to be charming, so I couldn’t resist using another of his works for this post.

The stars of the book are Aldin's own duo, Micky and Cracker.
The stars of the book are Aldin’s own duo, Micky and Cracker.

We’ve blogged about some of Aldin’s work before, but nothing quite so “doggy” as this! Dogs of Character is a labor of love in which Aldin highlights the humorous habits, misadventures, and quirks of his lovable canine companions.

Aldin also relates humorous tales about other dogs he had encountered, including "Sturdee," the dog who chewed through doors with lightning speed!
Aldin also relates humorous tales about other dogs he had encountered, including “Sturdee,” the dog who chewed through doors with lightning speed!

It’s hard not to laugh along with Aldin. And honestly, who wouldn’t make a book about all their dog adventures if they had Aldin’s artistic ability?

Cracker likes to sleep atop Micky. If Aldin is to be believed, Micky won a dog show award for MOST POPULAR DOG IN SHOW, and Cracker won another for THE UGLIEST DOG IN SHOW.
Cracker likes to sleep atop Micky. If Aldin is to be believed, Micky won a dog show award for MOST POPULAR DOG IN SHOW, and Cracker won another for THE UGLIEST DOG IN SHOW.

The narrative of the book is very relaxed, and follows an easy,  conversational tone. One can easily imagine Aldin dispensing wisdom on the care of canines with illustrative misadventures, such as the time he got locked in a dog kennel by accident or the time his dog “Sturdee,” having been caught off the leash, chewed his way out of a jail cell door in the police station!

The stars, jealous of sharing the limelight with other dogs.
The stars, jealous of sharing the limelight with other dogs.

Do you have a special pup in your life? If you love dogs, don’t forget to check out the current Museum exhibition at NSLM, Side-by-Side with Gun & Dog.

This is one of over 100 books available to purchase through the NSLM Annual Auction. Time is running out! The Annual Auction, composed of duplicates from the Library collections, will end on November 8. This year’s Auction includes some lovely sporting art and is perfect for holiday shopping; contact John Connolly, the George L. Ohrstrom, Jr. Librarian to bid.

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