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On Hunting Hardcover – May 1, 2002


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On Hunting + Foxhunting: How to Watch and Listen (Foxhunters Library) + The Unwritten Laws of Foxhunting - With Notes on the Use of Horn and Whistle and a List of Five Thousand Names of Hounds (History of Hunting)
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

"My life divides into three parts," philosopher-journalist Scruton says. "In the first I was wretched; in the second ill at ease; in the third hunting." He wasn't born to the hunt. His parents were industrial Midlanders, and his ardent Labourite father, despairing of his son's class loyalties when his scion was admitted to a grammar school with public school pretensions, was partly mollified only when Roger "skived off sports, . . . opt[ed] out of cadets, and was generally . . . unhappy and insolent." He discovered hunting accidentally, when out riding a generally docile horse owned by a colleague. A foxhunt passed by and, after standing a while mesmerized by it, the old steed took off to join it and proved to be "a 'front-runner,' a horse determined to be first in the herd." Scruton was hooked and has been hunting ever since for a complex of reasons he lays out, explains, and proselytizes in this thoroughly delightful essay that is not without its depths of patriotic feeling, interspecies fellowship, small-c conservative sentiment--and bone-wrenching unsaddlings. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Roger Scruton lives in Wiltshire where he hunts with the Beaufort and Vale of White Horse. He is the author of over twenty books and is a well-known media personality. A knight-errant on behalf of forgotten truth, he has espoused every cause deemed lost by mad modernity. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 173 pages
  • Publisher: St. Augustines Press; 1 edition (May 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587316005
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587316005
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.7 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #688,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cressida on March 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This a short but important work by Roger Scuton. Its importance consists in witnessing how an active and insightful mind, such as his, can see nature and beauty in the world around him. His concise and wonderful prose is a lesson to those who wish to learn what makes life worth living. In a way, it is journal of how Scruton came to self-knowledge, not through abstractions and academic jargon, but through sensitivity to what life offers. He begins with hunting but he ends with a moving romance with nature itself. In this regard, hunting is but a window into his soul and the limits of human nature. I have read all of his books and this one ranks among the best. A must read.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mark Allen on March 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a very quick and enjoyable read ... a weekend delight about weekend delights gone by.

I both hunt and read philosophy, so I'm biased to like this book on two counts.

Nonetheless, I'd highly recommend this work to anyone with an interest in philosophy who is curious about hunting, or to a hunter who likes to think. I guess one third character need apply: the post-modern untermensch with an aching sense that something is wrong with his heart and his world, and a desire to learn what that might be. Some insightful hints are found between these covers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sirin on May 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Beginning with a refutation of one of Oscar Wilde’s more fatuous maxims ‘the uneatable in pursuit of the uneatable’ – false at both ends, as Scruton points out, this book blends personal experience with philosophical reflection to tell the story of how a townie intellectual became converted into a rural huntsman in the Vale of the White Horse.

Scruton tells of how he was given his first set of hunting gear by Enoch Powell: ‘you are about the same size as me, physically, if not intellectually’ – the seams ripped at the first jump, and embarked tentatively into his new life. Flying back every weekend from the United States where he was teaching to pursue his new passion, Scruton found the Wiltshire hunting set frightening and enchanting in equal measure. Terrifying ladies charging on horseback hurling barbed insults if you get too close to their horse (of course it’s ‘mind my heels’ if they get too close to yours). Then there are the subtle delights of country customs such the particularly English beauty of a rain sodden dog display and the formality and elegance of affixing your choking collar stud as you dress for hunting, knowing that soon your attire will be completely mud-spattered. Echoes of the British army at Waterloo or Passchendaele. Scruton describes the adrenaline rush as you approach a jump, the threat of being killed yourself always hanging tantalisingly in the air. Then there is the portrayal of hunting throughout English literature such as the novels of Sassoon and Surtees.

The appeal of hunting (to those who ‘get it’) is manifest in these pages. Of course those who are innately against the sport will be just as repelled as they always were, if not more so. I doubt this book will change many minds.
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