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DescriptionThe Kings and Their Hawks: Falconry in Medieval England by Robin S. Oggins
2004, Yale University, 1st edition, 6.25" x 9.5", hardbound, color dust wrapper, 251 pages, black-and-white pictures with a section of color pictures.
In medieval Europe, falconry was perhaps the most popular form of hunting among the aristocracy. Owning a falcon, and the necessary falconer to go with it, was a status symbol throughout the Middle Ages, for the sport was vastly expensive and required a good deal of leisure time. This book is the first broad history of English royal falconry in medieval times, a book that draws on years of research to provide a full description of the actual practice and conditions of the sport and the role of falconers in the English royal household.
Robin S. Oggins begins with a description of the birds of prey, their training, and the sport of falconry. He then provides a short history of early falconry in Western Europe and England, based on a wide range of historical, literary, artistic, and archaeological sources. In the next chapters of the book, the author explores, in unprecedented detail, royal falconry from the reign of William I to the death of Edward I in 1307. The book sheds vivid new light on the lives of the falconers who served the English kings and how those who were involved with falconry activities became an important segment of the royal household. The author concludes with an overview of the place and importance of falconry in medieval life.