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© Dareen A. Bridge
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Antiquarian Dog Book
On-Line Book Catalogues
ith memory of the Second World War
fading and the end of rationing affording
a more plentiful supply of raw materials
publishing houses in the United Kingdom began
scouting around for untapped sources of revenue.
This was the scene that encouraged the Hutchinson
Publishing Group to launched its series of canine
breed books under the ‘Popular Dog Breeds’ banner.
The earliest of these appearing in the early 50s, so
that by the time ‘The Popular Collie’ appeared in
1957 the series had settled into a predicable pattern
with each, illustrated with black and white photographs and line drawings, written by an
acknowledged breed expert.
Although the Collie, at that time, could boast several fanciers with far greater experience than Hutchinson’s eventual selection of author, Margaret Osborne SHIEL proved to be an inspired choice, her easy yet authoritarian style exactly suiting the mood of the moment. The book’s format of starting with the breed’s history, moving on to a description of the breed standard, before turning to the more technical aspects of breeding and showing, remains popular, but the uniqueness of Miss Osborne’s approach to and deeper knowledge of the subject soon effaces this ridged structure’s obvious weaknesses.