Books · Reviews

Book Thoughts: The Godolphin Arabian (Eugene Sue)

sue, eugene - the godolphin arabian

★★★★★★☆

Title: The Godolphin Arabian
Author: Eugène Sue Translator: Alex de Jonge (from French)
Genre: Fiction  Pages: 152
First published: 1846
Edition: Hardback, published in 2003 by Derrydale Press

Here now is Alex de Jonge’s immensely readable translation of the original tale an imaginative mixture of fact and legend recreating the life of the Godolphin Arabian and his constant companion, Grimalkin the cat.

Originally written in 1846, this is the fictionalised story of The Godolphin Arabian, one of the founding sires of the modern thoroughbred. It is only a small little book about the horse, an mute Arab groom devoted to him and the cat that always kept him company.

As far as I can tell, the groom was made up, but there was actually a cat that went wherever the horse went.

This was such a delightfully told story. A simple, but effective tale about hardship and ultimate glory and the groom’s unshakeable belief in the horse he loves.

The translator adapted the story slightly and corrected some facts, which he explains in the foreword. I have not read the original of course, as I don’t know enough French, but this translated version reads very well.

If you are into horses at all, read this little gem. It’s worth the couple of hours it takes to read and it will put a smile on your face. The fact that it is based on a horse that actually existed and ended up being so important is a bonus.

6 out of 7 stars

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