Lord has researched and written a detailed and affectionate biography of a remarkable man whose charm and modesty remained unchanged by phenomenal success and adulation. Alf wrote amazingly little about his parents, his poor childhood in a crowded Glasgow tenement or his schooldays, but Lord describes them all in vivid detail after interviewing friends of Alf's from his earliest days in Glasgow up to the end in Yorkshire, where he worked for over fifty years with his partner Donald Sinclair, whom he called 'Siegfried' in his books, Lord has also uncovered some extraordinary events and hidden tragedies in Alf's life and he asks a series of pertinent questions. How much of the Herriot books was true? How much was fiction? And what was his real relationship with the various characters who inhabit the books. This warm but incisive portrait will be enjoyed by James Herriot's countless admirers but will also dispel the myths that have already grown up around the life of the most famous and deeply loved vet the world has ever known.