9780151686568 / 0151686564

Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats


Publisher:Harcourt, Brace & Co.



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About the book:

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter, it isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
The phenomenal worldwide success in the 1980s of the musical Cats refuelled interest in T.S. Eliot's classic Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats on which the stage extravaganza was based. Old Possum's Book, originally published in 1939 and dedicated to Eliot's godchildren, contains a delightful rogues' gallery of felines, including the Rum Tum Tugger cat whose "disobliging ways are a matter of habit", Mr Mistoffelees "The Original Conjuring Cat" and Macavity: The Mystery Cat "the master criminal who can defy the law". Loved by generations of children and adults alike, Old Possum is perhaps most remarkable for having been written almost as an aside, a plaything, by Eliot, as a distraction from the internal religious and philosophical wranglings he charted in Four Quartets.

A warm and witty collection of free-verse poems, which demand to be read aloud and given full dramatic import, this edition of Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats has been reissued by Faber and Faber Limited in a slim pocket-sized edition, with original tongue-in-cheek illustrations by Nicolas Bentley. --Catherine Taylor

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