[UCP Books]: Puss in Books

 Puss in Books 

Catherine Britton


Published by the British Library and Distributed by the University of Chicago Press

Publication date: April 1, 2013 112 pages, 80 color plates
ISBN-13: 978-0-7123-5882-8   Paper $14.95

Whether it’s a piano-playing cat, a surprised cat, or one that’s just plain adorable, some of the most-watched online videos these days feature funny felines. And it doesn’t end there; cats are ubiquitous on the Internet, inspiring meme after meme, speaking their own language, and even prompting the launch of a new film festival. But the omnipresence of the cat in pop culture is not novel. Feline references date from before 2000 BC in ancient Egypt, and since the introduction of cats to Western households they have inspired writers and artists—from the scribe of the Lindisfarne Gospels to poets of the present day. 

Puss in Books is a celebration of feline wit, intelligence, aloofness, and charm as presented through cats in books, with examples from literature, folklore, and popular culture. Among the selections included in this gorgeous volume are nursery rhymes (“Hey Diddle Diddle” and “Ding Dong Bell”); poetry by Thomas Gray (“Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat Drowned in a Tub of Goldfishes”) and T. S. Eliot (Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats); cats in fiction by Rudyard Kipling, Lewis Carroll, and Charles Dickens; and contemporary feline characters such as Splat the Cat and, of course, the ubiquitous Puss in Boots himself.

Wonderfully illustrated in color throughout, Puss in Books is an ideal gift for every cat lover.


Catherine Britton is the author of Dogs in Books, also published by the British Library.
Please contact Micah Fehrenbacher at (773) 702-7717 or micahf@uchicago.edu for more information.


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