Knott, M O’Malley

About the author

This is a work of non-fiction, included in this website because it is illustrated by Paul Brown. Gone Away with O’Malley is a vet’s recollections of his seventy years with horses. Middleton O Malley Knott was born in Castlebar, Ireland, and was started on donkeys by his father, a doctor. Against his father’s wishes, he went to sea as a naval cadet with a friend. By the time they reached San Francisco, four months later, both boys had had enough, and decided to stay in America. To keep body and soul together they got a job helping a vet, and with the aid of that vet, managed to save enough money to study veterinary science. At that time (the late 1880s), there was only one veterinary college in America. Classes were held in the hayloft, with practicals in the barn below.

Whilst at the school, O’Malley had a hand in manufacturing the first successful diphtheria vaccine. When he graduated, he set up his own practice, with limited success. He carried on working with horses, as a dealer and as a riding teacher. In middle age he switched careers to Wall Street, and finally had enough money to enjoy horses.

Finding the book
Easy to find in both its American and British printings, though very good copies can be expensive because of the Paul Brown connection.

Links and sources
Biographical information on Middleton O’Malley Knott, Connaught Telegraph, retrieved 17 February 2014 (no longer available)

Bibliography (horse books only)

Gone Away with O’Malley: Seventy Years with Horses, Hounds and People
(with Page Cooper)

Doubleday, Doran & Co Inc, New York, 1944, 280 pp, illus Paul Brown
Hurst & Blackett, London, 1946, 183 pp.

Kirkus review

Most chapters centre on a particular horse or other animal he has met, worked on, or owned in his life. Hunting is always a big part, but he gets involved in teaching riding, and horse dealing. Hesettles down with the Millbrook Hounds in New York, and finally, in his middle age, after switching careers to Wall Street, he is able to enjoy horses as a hobby instead of a career.