Sadly, this is ripped off wikipedia cos I can’t be arsed researching and writing my own version. But I know enough to know this is accurate:
Gavin Maxwell (15 July 1914 – 7 September 1969) was a Scottish naturalist and author, best known for his work with otters. He wrote the book Ring of Bright Water (1960) about how he brought an otter back from Iraq and raised it in Scotland. Ring of Bright Water sold more than a million copies and was made into a movie starring Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna in 1969. The title ‘Ring of Bright Water’ was taken from a poem by Kathleen Raine (1908–2003) who said in her autobiography that Maxwell had been the love of her life.
A dear mate at work has just lent me this book to cheer me up. I am astounded I have never heard of it before. I thought he was babbling on about Watership Down or something. By all accounts, Maxwell was gay, bi-polar and lived in a remote Scottish location where he ended up with HEAPS of otters for pets. Obviously before owning them was illegal or some shit. Bastard.
He also bought an island and tried to set up some shark/whale harpooning oil business, but got into otters after travelling through Iraqi marshes or something. You couldn’t make this up. I’m a few pages in and this book is bloody magic. And it has pictures. Of Otters. In cute little harnesses, galloping and snuggling and being all cute. I just WISH you could see the photos in the book. Makes me fall in love with otters, Maxwell and miss home all at the same time.
It’s like Born Free, but with otters!
Beg, borrow or steal this book. If I’m good, said friend has promised to lend me the DVD. Otterly Lovely.