Nat Gould

His life and books

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

The entry for Nat Gould in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is basically a revision of that in the Dictionary of National Biography.

The earlier mistake over the number of children of his parents is corrected, as is the place of his first home in Middlesex. However the errors in the second forename of Nat Gould's wife, the number of children, and the place of his burial are all repeated.

Unfortunately fresh errors are introduced:

The death of Nat Gould's father did not leave "insufficient funds to support his family", although widowed Mary Gould lived for a time in reduced circumstances.

Young Nat Gould actually worked on the farms of two of his uncles in Derbyshire, namely that of Gilbert Gould at Pilsbury Grange and that of William Wright 1796-1882 at Bradbourne, not just of one uncle.

The "fact that he rarely rode himself" may have been true in later life, especially with the onset of illness, but he had been a keen horseman. In The Magic of Sport he tells how he had taken every chance of riding (pages 51-52).

The assertion that "increased sophistication in the popular fiction market as a result of improvements in education in the 1920s meant that Gould's novels had limited appeal much beyond his death" (1919) is not borne out by the subsequent reissues, especially in the 1950s. Today his books are keenly sought, and though some may simply be collected, it can not be assumed that they are all unread. Several titles are still in print, and others are available through printing on demand by more than one publisher.