Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Here you will find reviews of, selections from, and commentaries concerning books, many of which don't even appear on Amazon's radar. But what goldmines for the literate foxhunter!

How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog)

how to tame a foxHow to Tame a Fox (And Build a Dog) by By Lee Alan Dugatkin and Lyudmila Trut, The University of Chicago Press, 2017, 216 pagesIt is accepted science that dogs evolved from wolves about fifteen thousand years ago. One can imagine, back in primitive times, certain needy wolves sidling up to man for food and shelter. Or orphaned cubs being saved by primitive families. In those relationships that proved successful, both wolf and man discovered advantages. Even disregarding love and companionship (those were harder times), the wolf was assured access to food and shelter in all seasons, and man discovered a hunting partner that contributed to his well-being and that of his family. The domesticated wolves, genetically disposed to the relationship, bred with others so disposed, and succeeding generations over the millennia evolved into purpose-bred dogs.

But just how did that evolution occur? It hasn’t been recorded. What if you could speed up the process and witness it? Two Soviet geneticists tried to do just that. They wanted to try to breed foxes as friendly to people as dogs, and this is their story—“part science, part Russian fairy tale, and part spy thriller,” says The New York Times Book Review.

Six Centuries of Foxhunting: An Annotated Bibliography

Book Review by Norman Fine

biscotti.six centuries fox hunting book reviewSix Centuries of Foxhunting: An Annotated Bibliography by M.L. Biscotti, Foreword by Norman Fine, Rowman & Littlefield, 2017, 499 pages, illustrated, $85.00 hardbound, $80.00 eBookWithin Six Centuries of Foxhunting, Matthew “Duke” Biscotti has collected the essential facts of every bit of literature on the subject of foxhunting that was published prior to the year 2000. A lot of years, a lot of sport, a lot of huntsmen, horses, hounds, and foxes for many lifetimes.

Biscotti’s volume is destined to be a bible for antiquarian booksellers, scholars, collectors, and writers of sporting literature. But the book’s appeal will be a great deal broader. Biscotti gives us so much related and fascinating information about the listed author, the subject, and the times that the volume invites browsing, as does a good encyclopedia.

Pensioned

terrier.cecil aldinFrom Scarlet Blue and Green: A Book of Sporting Verse by Duncan Fife, with Illustrations by Cecil Aldin, MacMillan and Company, London, 1932

I am Dan—ten years old, and a little bit blind—
But it doesn’t annoy me, for people, I find,
Seem to vie with each other in being most kind,
                                                  For I’m pensioned.

When the weather is wet and the wind blowing cold,
And the others troop out for their walk when they’re told,
I curl up in my chair by the fire, for I’m old—
                                                  And I’m pensioned.

The Perfect Hat

the perfect hat3.ogilvieLionel Edwards illustrationThe Bowler and the Wide-Awake,
    The Topper and the Straw,
The Homburg and the Helmet
    May be hats without a flaw;
The Bonnet of the Highlanders,
    The Busby of the Greys
Are hats we shall remember
    To the end of all our days;
The Jockey-cap of sunlit silk,
    The Bishop’s Shovel-black
Can honor a cathedral town
    Or grace a racing track.
But the neatest, sweetest headgear
    Be it e’er so crushed or crude
Is the Hat upon the Skyline
    When a forward fox is viewed.