Barbet News (page 42)
The Kennel Club Library
The Kennel Club, London
Following a chance conversation while at Crufts earlier in the year we had arranged a visit to the Kennel Club`s own Library at its headquarters in central London. After an early start we were soon in London and making our way past the crowds outside Buckingham Palace to the Kennel Clubs offices on the other side of Green Park.
Our intention had been to try and confirm the links betwwen the Great Rough Water Dog of English history with its continental cousin the barbet. We had also heard of barbet being brought to Britain in the distant past but as yet not been able to pin names and dates to the story. Perhaps we would find some answers here.
Chien De Chasse (1827)
Its hard to know where to start in a library full of dog books, but a glance at the glass fronted shelves containing the oldest books revealed a few French titles which we hadn`t anticipated. `Chien De Chasse` from 1827 and Chien D`Arret -Francais et Englais` from 1881 proved interesting and the library staff were happy to remove them from their case for us to look at. Being so old, the books had to be handled carefully but we were able to photograph the text and images provided we didn`t use a flash. There were several books which we knew of but had never seen in the flesh, Bylandts` `Dogs of All Nations` from 1905 has a chapter on the barbet in English, French, Dutch & German, each with a different image.
Several English books provided useful text of interest. `The Dog` by H.D. Richardson (1850) and `Gun Dogs` by Frank Townend-Barton (1913) both had sections dedicated to the old water dog. Needless to say we soon ran out of time and had to head back home. We now have plenty of new material to process and add to the ongoing Bibliography section of this website. There were many more titles which we did not have time to view so a return visit is already being planned.