For the Dog Days of August
A Dog’s Tale by Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens). New York, London : Harper & Brothers. 1904.
Call number: PS 1322 .D6 1904. Special Collections, Rare Book Collection.
In honor of the dog days of summer, A Dog’s Tale is the book of the month for August. The phrase dog days refers to the sultry summer days of July and August, during which the warmest summer temperatures typically occur. The Romans referred to the dog days as diēs caniculārēs and associated the hot weather with the star Sirius. They also considered Sirius to be the “Dog Star” because it is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (Large Dog). In Ancient Rome, the Dog Days ran from July 24th through August 24th, or, alternatively, from July 23 through August 23rd. In many modern European cultures (German, French, Italian) this period is still said to be the time of the Dog Days.
A Dog’s Tale is a short, bittersweet story about the life of Aileen Mavourneen, a St. Bernard/Collie dog. The book is bound in red pictorial cloth depicting a black and white dog (Aileen) and her puppy looking at a food bowl. Titles are in white on both the cover and spine. The text is illustrated with several colored lithographs. A Dog’s Tale can be viewed in the Special Collections department in the Glenn G. Bartle Library, Monday – Friday from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm or by appointment.