Friday, 11 November 2011

The Goshawk by TH White

Daybook of a self-taught hawk handler

'The chronicle of the training and taming of one of Germany's noblest birds of prey ' - blurb
A page from TH White's journal - more here

TH White taught English at Stowe School on the Bucks/Northants border in the 30s, when he withdrew into a quiet life of observing and writing about nature. He trains a goshawk using the only reference he can find - a medieval hawking manual - and we follow the small daily triumphs and challenges. Particularly striking is the process of 'manning' the bird, getting it used to the constant presence of it's owner over a sleepless 3 days.
A masterpiece of everyday awareness, the small things observed with a precise eye (a 'Naples yellow' dawn). The story of an intimate relationship between a man and a wild bird, with it's shifts and balances. It's also a celebration of one man's practicality and improvisation, as he makes perches and straps out of everyday materials.

White admits that training the goshawk has deepened his understanding of the frequent hawking references in Shakespeare's plays

No comments:

Post a Comment