Jeoffry: The Poet's Cat


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'For I am possessed of a cat, surpassing in beauty' Jeoffry was a real-life tomcat who lived 250 years ago. His fame came much later, when fragments of a poem written by his owner were dusted off in a private library. The seventy-four lines in praise of Jeoffry are now among the most anthologised verse in the English language and have even been set to music. Biographer Oliver Soden combines meticulous research with brilliant invention to tell the whole story of Jeoffry, a cat who was 'the cleanest in the use of his forepaws of any quadruped'. The narrative moves from the infamous bordellos of Covent Garden to the lunatic asylum in which Jeoffry found himself confined with the brilliant and unstable Christopher Smart. In exchange for companionship during the darkest moments of his illness and incarceration, the poet would reward Jeoffry with the greatest tribute to a feline ever written. At once whimsical and profound, JEOFFRY THE POET'S CAT mingles fact with fiction to recount Jeoffry's life and adventures against the roaring backdrop of eighteenth-century London. AUTHOR: Oliver Soden is a writer and broadcaster. His first book, an authorised biography of the composer Michael Tippett, was a Book of the Year in the SPECTATOR, TLS and OBSEVER and won the Storytelling Award from the Royal Philharmonic Society. Soden's essays and reviews have appeared in a wide variety of publications including the GUARDIAN, LITERARY REVIEW and ART NEWSPAPER. Born in 1990, he grew up in Bath and Sussex, and lives in London. 11 b/w illustrations

$48.00(NZD) RRP $47.96(NZD)

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  • : 9780750995672
  • : The History Press
  • : The History Press
  • : November 2020
  • : books

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