The book is a collaboration between equine author Tamsin Pickeral and Astrid, who has illustrated the book in its entirety. 

About the book

Horses have played a central role in human societies for millennia, and this magnificently written and beautifully illustrated volume celebrates that long, eventful history. It pays homage not only to the physical splendor of the horse—its grace, beauty, strength, and adaptability—but also to its remarkable diversity. Equestrian specialist Tamsin Pickeral traces the evolution of many different horse breeds from the dawn of written history to the present day. Separate chapters are devoted to:

  • The Ancient World—the nomadic horse peoples of the Eurasian steppes, the Gotland Pony, used by the Goths as chariot horses, the Camargue, an ancient working breed that was taken into Spain by the Romans, and many more
  • From the East—Mongolian stocks, the influence of Ghengis Khan, the introduction of polo, the spread of the Arabian horse breed, and more
  • The War Horse—the rise of the heavy cavalry horse, Charles Martel and the influence of the Crusades on horse breeding, the Spanish and Portuguese originators of horse-riding cowboys, the horse in the Napoleonic wars, and more
  • The New World—the horse’s arrival in South America, brought in by the Spanish, and the subsequent development of American breeds
  • Racing, Hunting, and Sports Horses—Racing thoroughbreds, Irish hunters, Holsteins, Australian breeds, and more
  • Harness Horses, Carriage Driving, and Trotting—the development of horses mainly used today for show and skill work, and German Oldenburg carriage horses, now widely used in riding competitions
  • Agriculture and Industry—The transformation of war horses into widely varied breeds that were developed for working the land, working in mines, serving as police horses, and more.

Buy book here (UK) and here (USA) or here for the UK edition with free Worldwide Delivery.



Released in the USA and UK in October 2012. The partnership of wonderful words and striking images combine to create a unique product, a book full of information as well as imagery that undoubtedly captures the spirits of some of the world’s most incredible breeds of dog.

About the book

Dogs formed an allegiance with humans in early prehistory and this was the beginning of a unique bond between dog and human that has endured some 14,000 years. Since then, there have been numerous momentous events through history at which the dog has been present: following or leading troops into battle, lurking in the shadows of official business, seated on the laps of emperors, and curled sleeping during spiritual and religious occasions.

The Spirit of the Dog explores the long and varied history of the dog in human cultures across the world and celebrates the very special place that this enigmatic creature holds in people’s hearts. Established author and animal specialist Tamsin Pickeral examines the development of the major dog breeds within their historic context—from the slender, powerful sight hounds to the hard-working Siberian Husky, the spirited Terrier breeds, and the personable mongrels. Grouped according to their key characteristics—including Elegance and Speed, Power and Strength, Devotion and Loyalty, Agility and Wisdom—the breeds are each studied in comprehensive detail.

As a mammal species the dog is the most varied in shape, size, and color, and also the most versatile, whether working as a hunter, protector, or simply providing companionship as a domestic pet. The Spirit of the Dog celebrates this diversity, aided by the stunning photography of contemporary animal photographer Astrid Harrisson, whose striking, beautiful, and unusual images of our major dog breeds skillfully reflect the virtues of ‘man’s best friend.’ With evocative text and exceptional photography, this is an essential volume for everyone who loves dogs.

Buy book (UK) or here (USA) or here with free Worldwide Delivery.



Worshipped as gods by the ancient Egyptians, and down through the centuries admired and kept as pets by cultures the world over. Enigmatic, aloof, and independent, cats remain to this day the most enthralling of domestic animals. Now, animal writer Tamsin Pickeral and I present a richly detailed and sumptuously illustrated history of the cat. Our beautiful new book traces the long, colorful, often tumultuous history of domesticated cats from their glory days in Egypt to the present time.
Explored in these pages are:
  • The diverse roles of cats in different cultures
  • The intriguing stories behind more than 50 feline breeds
  • The origins of selective breeding and the history of cat shows

Readers will also take pleasure in wonderful color photos that include candid pictures of the lithe-bodied Abyssinian, the traditional longhaired Balinese, the lop-eared Scottish Fold, the green-eyed Russian Blue with its stunning silver-blue coat, the Tabby, beloved in countless homes as a household pet, and many, many more. Here, in an extraordinarily handsome oversize volume, is a comprehensive reference book and a unique visual experience–an exquisite showcase of cats in all their splendor. Printed throughout in full color, The Elegance/Grace of the Cat features approximately 400 photos.

Currently available editions:

US Edition (published by Barron’s), UK Edition (published by Frances Lincoln), Australian Edition (published by Allen & Unwin)

Buy book (UK) or here (USA).



Large format photographic book about Sikh festival Holla Mohalla. This book has been self-published as an edition of 5, presented in a nubuck box and bound to perfection.

The series of works shown in this most collectible book is an intimate study of the Nihangs, the peaceful army of the Sikhs, during annual celebration Hola Mohalla, a colourful Sikh festival held at Anandpur Sahib, Punjab. The tradition dates back to times of the 10th Guru, who decreed the festival of Holi to be the occasion for displaying the martial spirit of his people.

Nihang culture is one of many global cultures and sub-cultures living and thriving alongside the horse and Astrid's images bring this colourful festival to life and document this important moment in the Sikh annual calendar.

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