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The Kings and Their Hawks: Falconry in Medieval England
The Kings and Their Hawks: Falconry in Medieval England
by Robin S. Oggins
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $45.00
24 used & new from $40.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Title should be "What the Kings Paid their Falconers", March 20, 2011
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I was very disappointed with this book. The first chapter is by far the most interesting as it goes into detail about the birds, their prey, and how they were trained. The remaining chapters are nothing more than lists of falconers, what they were paid, and the types and colors of birds that the various kings received as gifts. I felt as if I was reading the same chapter over and over again.

I wish the author had drawn more upon the various hunting manuscripts and works of art depicting royal hunts and less upon rolls and inventories in order to give at least some sense of what a royal hunt with falcons might have been like. Given that the further back one goes in history, the more sparse the records, perhaps the very linear chronological approach Oggins used was not the way to go.

Read this book for the first chapter, but if you want to get a much better sense of what medieval royal hunts were like, read John Cummin's The Art of Medieval Hunting: The Hound and the Hawk, or better yet, Medieval hunting scenes: ("The Hunting Book" by Gaston Phoebus) [Illuminated Manuscripts] and The Master of Game.


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