Saluki

The Desert Hound and the English Travelers Who Brought It to the West

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About the Book

One of the oldest known breeds of domesticated dogs, the Saluki traveled throughout the Middle East with desert tribes, who valued the dogs for their ability to hunt gazelles. Famously painted on the walls of the Pharaohs’ tombs, the Salukis’ history intrigued English dog enthusiasts who were instrumental in popularizing the breed and importing it to Europe and the United States in the early 20th century. This book tells the story of those who brought the Saluki to the West, most notably Florence Amherst, who discovered the dogs while in Egypt and went on to breed 50 litters. Other world travelers who fell under the Salukis’ spell included Lady Anne Blunt, Austen Layard and Gertrude Bell. Also covered are lesser-known Saluki aficionados, mainly military officers who hunted with their hounds in Iraq, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt and sought to replicate that experience at home.

About the Author(s)

Brian Patrick Duggan is the author of numerous articles on canine history which have been published in AKC Family Dog, AKC Gazette, Sighthound Review, Show Sight, The Private Journey, and Greasy Grass: The Journal of the Custer Battlefield Historical & Museum Association. He is a retired university technology educator, an active American Kennel Club judge, and the editor for McFarland’s Dogs in Our World series.

Bibliographic Details

Brian Patrick Duggan

Foreword by Sir Terence Clark 
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 315
Bibliographic Info: 56 photos, glossary, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3407-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8462-1
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Dogs in Our World

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Foreword by Sir Terence Clark      1
Preface      3
Prologue: Unanswered Letters      7

PART I: DISCOVERY
1. The Bibliophile and His Daughters      9
2. Didlington Up the Nile      19
3. A Sphinxitic Pastime      35
4. Amherst Doings, Research, and the Walking Englishman      44

PART II: THE CURTAIN RISES
5. Egyptology      53
6. Foreign Dogs: Any Other Variety      60
7. The Crash      68
8. Dear Miss Amherst … Yours Sincerely, T. E. Lawrence      77
9. The Foulden Home Front      86

PART III: SOLDIERS OF THE KING
10. From Wadi Rum to Damascus      91
11. The Bengal Lancer      106
12. The Armageddon Hunt      118

PART IV: APPROBATION
13. The Stage Is Set      129
14. Tutmania and Breed Recognition      142
15. Gains and Losses      151
16. The Limelight and a Broken Heart      168

PART V: FURRIN’ PARTS
17. A Wet Nose and a Velvet Ear      183
18. The Baghdad Crowd      204
19. The Lady and the Traveler      218

PART VI: ECLIPSE
20. The Passing of the Caravan      227
21. Epitaphs      243

Appendix 1: History Repeats Itself. Major Moss      253
Appendix 2: Wilfred Jennings-Bramly, the Walking Englishman      258
Glossary of Foreign Words and Anglo-Indian Slang      263
Notes      265
Bibliography      275
Index      285

Book Reviews & Awards

  • Winner, Maxwell Award for Best Breed Book—Dog Writers Association of America.
  • Finalist, Best Non-Fiction Book—Alliance of Pure Bred Dog Writers
  • “outstanding”—The Midwest Book Review
  • “one of the most detailed, elaborate and curious dog books I have had the privilege to read in a very long time. It is not a single-focus breed book, neither is it a trumped-up recitation of old-school history lessons, or a name-dropper’s Who’s Who. Rather, imagine a book for an easy chair and rainy day…a story that you will fly through the first time, but return to over and over, to uncover even more nuggets of treasure that continue to entice long after they have been first enjoyed”—The Sighthound Magazine
  • “breathing life into this diverse group of enthusiasts…and their salukis…is the work of this well-researched volume. It is a fascinating journey from the time the sun never set on the British Empire to the darkness of World War II. The photographs are wonderful as well.”—Jane Waldron Grutz, Saudi Aramco World
  • “Duggan…has done so thorough and readable a job as to render any further book on the subject unnecessary. Populated by dozens of compelling characters, including T. E. Lawrence (the enigmatic Lawrence of Arabia), Saluki is the product of 14 years of research made vivid by the author’s skills as a storyteller”—AKC Gazette
  • “a masterful work and I am tremendously impressed with the amount of research that went into it”—George H.V. Cecil, Chairman, Biltmore Farms LLC
  • “a welcome addition…by chronicling their [British officers] stories you add to the broader picture of British activity in the Middle East”—Zahra Dickson Freeth, author of Kuwait Was My Home