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Roaring Dorset! Encounters with Big Cats by Merrily Harpur

Nevermind the Serengeti, Dorset is, arguably, where you are most likely to bump into a big cat, according to Merrily Harpur, author of two books on the subject – Mystery Big Cats and Roaring Dorset! Encounters with Big Cats.

Around a thousand people glimpse a panther- or puma-like feline in Britain every year – with Dorset having more than its fair share, given its population and size, of these strange, elusive creatures. Merrily’s Roaring Dorset! is the result of a decade of research and includes the 223 sightings she has collected on her Dorset Big Cats Register website (

But there’s more to them than meets the eye. Merrily ponders the questions surrounding the big cat mystery and suggests her own view that these cats are daimons, shape-shifters that inhabit liminal places. Hence the reason they defy capture and why no bodies have been found; why 80% of sightings are of jet black cats – a rare colour in big cats; and why the sightings may be related to the spectral Black Dogs of folklore.

Paperback: Mono, Ilustrated, 128 pp
Publisher: Roving Press (Sept 2008)
ISBN: 9781-906651-015
Format: 234 x 156 mm
RRP: £4.99
Info:, tel 01300 321531



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