The Hound and the Hawk: The Art of Medieval Hunting by John G. Cummins
Hunting was a training for war and a rite of manhood, a powerful and ritualistic pastime, the sport of kings. In vivid and engrossing detail, John Cummins shows us the appropriate methods for hunting all kinds of deer, boar, wolves, foxes, bear, otter, birds hare - even unicorn. Hunting and hawking run throughout medieval art and literature, providing not only narrative motifs for tapestries, romances and sagas but also metaphors for war and combat, for Christianity wrestling with the dark forces of paganism, and for sexual pursuit and conquest. Dr Cummins' book ranges over a dazzling diversity of sources - poems, ballads, letters, court directives, royal accounts, gamekeepers' handbooks, psalters - to recreate and interpret the cosmos of medieval hunting and falconry, the skills and techniques, superstitions and beliefs. Richly illustrated from a variety of sources, The Hound and the Hawk shows us a pageant of medieval and Renaissance life lived in its grandest, most flamboyant, most allusive manner.