Timothy the Tortoise : Remarkable Story of the Nation's Oldest Pet
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Timothy made his first appearance in the nation's history when he was a ship's mascot in the Crimean War in 1854. After a long naval career, he retired for a quieter life on land and was given to the Earl of Devon in 1892. From then until his untimely death in April 2004, he lived in Powderham Castle where he was much loved by family and visitors alike. Lady Gabrielle Courtenay, now 91, looked after him for the second half of his life, and she recalls the great stories and escapades involving Timothy: how he got drunk on azalea blossom, and how the family had to buy a special tortoise train ticket for him when they went on their holidays in the 1920s. Timothy's story is not just the tale of a remarkable tortoise, it is a social history of the last century and a half. Rory Knight Bruce has spoken to all those who knew him best, from the Devons to the aged retainers at the castle who looked after him. He was a symbol of continuity, and this is a warm and nostalgic account of the life he lived.