EXLIB A CONTEMPORARY LADY

TURBERVILLE, George. The Booke of Falconrie or Havvking…..newly reviued…..with many new Additions [etc.]. 

London, Printed by Thomas Purfoot, 1611. [with]

Gascoigne, George. The noble art of venerie or hunting. Wherein is handled and set out the vertues, nature, and properties of fifteene sundry chaces,

London, Printed by Thomas Purfoot, 1611

£25,000

4to. pp. 1) [viii] 370 [iv]: [par.], A-Z, 2A. 2) [viii], 200, [iv], 201-204, 207-250, [iv]. [par.], A-M, N¹, O-P, Q, [cross]². Black letter, some Roman and Italic. Lovely woodcut illustrations of hawking & hunting respectively on each title, 91 1/2- to full-p. woodcuts in text (some repeated) of hounds & birds, their prey & attendants, with epilogue to the reader, 2 ll. of music for horn at the end of second work, woodcut initials and tail-pieces, typographical ornaments. Early ms. notes on e. ps., of medical or veterinary recipes, near contemporary autograph of ‘Joyce Sacheverell’ on rear fly. Light age yellowing, occasional light waterstains in margins, a bit heavier on last few ll., titles shaved at foot with small loss to imprint date. Very good, clean copies, with strong copies of the cuts, often faded, in contemporary limp vellum, remains of ties, in folding case.

Second editions, of these contemporary classics on the most favoured pastime of Tudor and Stuart England, two of the most attractively illustrated works of the period. They were first printed in 1575; in this edn. the figure of James has been substituted for Elizabeth’s in the full-page hunting scenes. The two ll. of music, ‘The Measures for Blowing the Horn’, were intended to be taken out and used in the field, and are often missing. The works constitute an encyclopaedia of practical information on the care of, and hunting with, hounds and birds, and ideally, though they by no means always are, should be found together. Both the text and the woodcuts of the 2nd work are adapted from Du Fouilloux’s ‘La Venerie’ (1560).

“In Shakespeare’s day, falconry and hawking were elite, expensive sports pursued by the upper classes. This beautifully illustrated manual, aimed at ‘Noblemen and Gentlemen’, offers advice on how to train hawks and conduct oneself in exclusive hunting circles. Turberville makes fascinating use of strongly gendered language to describe the process of training birds, especially female hawks or ‘haggards’. In his instructions on how to ‘make a Falcon’ fly (pp. 79–80) and how to ‘make flight for a Haggard’ (pp. 151–52), the relationship between man and hawk seems based on subordination, but also the need for ‘care’ and ‘cherishing’ to make her do his will (p. 152). The (male) human tames the wild (female) hawk by ‘hooding’ her and controlling her food. But he should ‘use hir gently’ to ensure she is ‘better manned’ (pp. 79, 128) – a term which makes taming seem masculine. However, Turberville also warns of the haggard’s rebellious power. Without careful treatment ‘she will not long be at your commaundement, but make you follow hir’ (p. 152). In Shakespeare’s play, The Taming of the Shew, Petruchio employs the elite language of falconry to describe his taming methods, suggesting his dominant status, both in terms of social class and gender. He says he will ‘man’ his ‘haggard’ (4.1.193) by restricting Kate’s food and sleep, but insists ‘all this is reverend care of her’. George Turberville (1543?–c. 1597) was part of an established family with a long history in Dorset – they appear in Thomas Hardy’s famous novel, Tess of the D’Urbervilles. But because George was the fifth son, he didn’t inherit the family fortune and had to support himself financially. The Booke of Faulconrie or Hauking was perhaps compiled with the hope of securing noble patronage to fund Turberville’s other work as a poet and translator. The Booke of Faulconrie is usually bound with The Noble Arte of Venerie or Hunting (1575), which was previously thought to be by Turberville, but is actually by George Gascoigne.” BL.

The autograph on the e. p. is that of the mother of William Sacheverell (1638-91), a leading statesman of Charles II’s reign (though virtually always in opposition) and one of the greatest of the early parliamentary orators.

ESTC S118834. & S118822. STC 24325. & 24329. Schwerdt II 271-2. Lowndes 2720. Grolier 247 & 249.

L3484

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