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A Dog of Flanders


Book Overview: 

"Nello and Patrasche were left all alone in the world." So begins the poignant story of the two orphans who were to become inseparable companions. They were Nello, an orphaned youth, and Patrasche, the dog which he and his grandfather saved from near death one day. The tale takes place outside of Antwerp, and so popular has this story become that there is a commemorative statue of Nello and Patrasche standing in the village yet today. The story is powerful, and masterfully written by Marie Louise de la Ramée under the pseudonym Ouida.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .his desire and his ability to work in return for the bread of charity that he had eaten. Jehan Daas resisted long, for the old man was one of those who thought it a foul shame to bind dogs to labor for which Nature never formed them. But Patrasche would not be gainsaid: finding they did not harness him, he tried to draw the cart onward with his teeth.

At length Jehan Daas gave way, vanquished by the persistence and the gratitude of this creature whom he had succored. He fashioned his cart so that Patrasche could run in it, and this he did every morning of his life thenceforward.

When the winter came, Jehan Daas thanked the blessed fortune that had brought him to the dying dog in the ditch that fair-day of Louvain; for he was very old, and he grew feebler with each year, and he would ill have known how to pull his load of milk-cans over the snows and through the deep ruts in the mud if it had not been for the strength and the ind. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This heart-wrenchingly tragic, classic, Flemish tale is oddly sentimental for a children's story. Marie Louise de la Ramée wrote many adventure romance stories during her time using the pen name Ouida. Of these tales, A Dog of Flanders is considered the best. I agree it's a good book, but it seems o

Published in 1872, this was supposedly a beloved children’s story. It’s tragic, a story of extreme poverty with a very sad ending. Doesn’t seem like the kind of story that today’s children are likely to read or to be read to.


I was born and raised in Antwerp. On a square inf front of the cathedral there is a statue of Nello and Patrache, lying covered in the snow on the ground. I never read the story, despite loving the statue so much. I'm glad I finally know where the statue stands for, even if it's a sad

This story is well-known the world over apart from in Flanders itself (except among the people who live within viewing distance of the fairly recent statue in Hoboken and the ones who remember that Suske en Wiske album, I guess). It's a good and sensitive story, however, that is sure to traumatise y

"Let us lie down and die together. Men have no need of us, and we are all alone."

This book is so beautiful and well-written that it completely ripped my heart open and left me weeping. The ending was so sad and I was left feeling miserable missing my own deceased GSD.
I listened to the audio book

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