Mr. Revere and I

I recently read an interesting story. Mr. Revere and I: Being an Account of certain Episodes in the Career of Paul Revere, Esq. as Revealed by his Horse. 

Mr. Revere and I: Being an Account of certain Episodes in the Career of Paul Revere,Esq. as Revealed by his Horse - Robert Lawson - Revolutionary War - The British are Coming

As the cover notes. The story is Set Down and Illustrated by Robert Lawson.

I saw this book at the library book sale and just had to pick it up and add it to my stack of books. I had also just read Mr. Popper’s Penguins which was illustrated by Robert Lawson, so was curious to see what his writing was like. I already knew that he was a great illustrator.

I also did a little research on Robert Lawson and found that he was quite prolific as both an illustrator and writer. I will be keeping my eye open for more of his work. Especially Rabbit Hill which won a Newberry Medal in 1945 and Ben and Me  which earned a Lewis Carrol Shelf Award in 1961.

So, now on to the book. I really liked this book that was published in 1951. The story is told from the perspective of a horse. Scheherazade or Sherry was in the service of the British Army, and came by ship from England. We get an interesting look at how horses were transported by sea and how they acclimated to land again. We also find out how they were treated by their riders. I won’t go into all the details of the book, as I want you to read it for yourself. However, I will hit a few points. Sherry is wagered in a card game and is lost to the owner of a glue factory. After pulling a wagon for awhile Sherry is conscripted by the Sons of Liberty and put in the service of Paul Revere. Of course, Sherry the noble British Army horse feels like a traitor, but eventually comes around to the cause. Sherry helps Paul Revere deliver messages to different places, observes the Boston Tea Party and eventually makes the historic ride with Paul Revere to warn that the British are Coming.

Mr. Revere and I - Paul Revere's Midnight Ride - Colonial America - Revolutionary War -

So, how close to actual history is this book? I did do a little research and found out that Paul Revere most likely did not have a horse of his own. On that fateful night he borrowed a horse that was owned by John Larkin. Two possible names have filtered down through time for the horse; Brown Betty or Brown Beauty. However, I do like the way this story is told with Sherry as the thread running through it all. The historic events in the book are fairly close to how they actually happened and you learn a lot about Boston in this time period.

The illustrations in the book are really great. The one above is not actually from the Midnight Ride, but is from an earlier section of the book where Paul Revere is simply carrying a message.

While reading the book, I had some nice memories of Speech competitions when I was in High School. I received a Gold Medal at the State Speech competition my Senior year in Poetry Interpretation. My selection was Paul Revere’s Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Of course, many of us know the first few lines of this great poem.

Listen, my children, and you shall hear

Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,

On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;

Hardly a man is now alive

Who remembers that famous day and year.

I hope you get a chance to check out this interesting book. The illustrations alone are worth a look.


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8 Responses to Mr. Revere and I

  1. Boomdeeadda says:

    You seem to have a really good library Steven, thanks for sharing the story. I’m embarrassed to say, I started a book on the plane to California in Dec and still haven’t managed to finish…I must get to it because I was really enjoying it. Do you have a favourite time to read?

  2. J. G. Burdette says:

    As a finicky fiction-reader it takes a lot before I can safely say I really liked a story, but this was definitely one of my favorites.

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