with Horse and Hound

A Short History of Foxhunting

alisair jackson.lisa campbell.m gustafsonLibrarian Lisa Campbell shows Alastair Jackson around the stacks at the National Sporting Library, where the author talked about his new book and signed copies. / Maureen Gustafson photo

Excellent books have been written on the history of foxhunting by such notables as The Duke of Beaufort, Roger Longrigg, and Joe Thomas. However, the operating word in the title of this new book by two contemporary notables—Alastair Jackson and Michael Clayton—is “Short.”

“Michael came to me with the idea,” said Jackson last night at the National Sporting Library in Middleburg, Virginia, where, after wine and appetizers, he talked about his book and signed copies. “There are so many people hunting today that don’t know about our history. We wanted to provide something concise, entertaining, and easy to read rather than the academic and often dry histories that have been published in the past.”

Jackson wrote the text and drew the delightful pen-and-ink illustrations reminiscent of the styles of Eleanor Iselin Mason and Edith Somerville. His sketches accurately capture the attitudes and posture of hounds, horses, people, and quarry in motion with economy of line. Clayton provided his vast experience reviewing and editing the text, and wrote the short verses that provide the lead for each chapter.

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