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The Goshawk by T. H. White

The Goshawk (1951)

by T. H. White

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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382441,840 (3.92)47

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Showing 4 of 4
Even though it lacks that extra layer of symbolism and grief as an explanation for the primal need for connection and blood-lust in H is for Hawk, this book is still a fascinating book on falconry and the inevitable struggle between one man's inexplicable obsession (although this can be supplied by the reader after reading H is for Hawk for some background knowledge of White himself) and the untameable wildness of nature.

Best served as supplementary reading for MacDonald's H is for Hawk.

Aside: if I ever decide to arrange my books with the idea that they would have interesting conversations with their neighbours, I'd put The Goshawk between H is for Hawk and Shakespeare, particularly The Taming of the Shrew for reasons listed in The Goshawk itself. ( )
  kitzyl | Jun 30, 2017 |
Well worth a read, but it's an uncomfortable one. Like a cross between The Old Man and the Sea and The Go-between! I found myself sympathising with White's stubbornness, admiring his perseverance and loving his account of fox-hunting. I was fascinated by the hawk himself, and his first bath is absolutely charming, beautifully - and I hope faithfully - described by White. The observations seem pretty sincere, even where they're in ignorance, so you learn with White. Gos' detestation of meat after all the early over-feeding is captivating, and his own human observations - including his reflections on 'The Taming of the Shrew' are illuminating too. I the end though, I wanted him to feel punished, humiliated, broken, wretched, not drinking champagne. Did "God" who made the lamb also make these clumsy, callous, victorious men? Well yes, he did. [I read "H s for Hawk" immediately after reading this.] ( )
  emmakendon | Apr 17, 2017 |
Very fun book. Autobiographical bit about the author training a Goshawk, probably for his own experience to aid in writing The Once and Future King with it's falconry and such. ( )
  Bruce_Deming | Feb 5, 2016 |
Power over. But who really holds the power? An amble through the forest of falconry by a master, this book is also an exploration of control and self control. "It is a tonic for the less forthright savagery of the human heart." ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Showing 4 of 4
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
T. H. Whiteprimary authorall editionscalculated
Schuchart, MaxTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van der Klis, JolandeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed


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Attilae Hunnorum Regi hominum

trucelentissimo, qui flagellum Dei

dictus fuit, ita placuit Astur, ut in

insigni, galea, & pileo eum coron-

atum gestaret.

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When I first saw him he was a round thing like a clothes basket covered with sacking.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140019316, Paperback)

The Goshawk chronicles a concentrated duel between the author and a great hawk. It is the journal of an intense clash of wills - during the bird's training - in which the pride and endurance of the wild raptor are worn down by the insistent willpower of the falconer. The story is by turns comic and tragic - and it is all-absorbing. (5 1/2 X 8 1/4, 222 pages, diagrams)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:24 -0400)

With a foreword by Helen Macdonald, author of the multi-award-winning H IS FOR HAWK.'No hawk can be a pet. There is no sentimentality. In a way, it is the psychiatrist's art. One is matching one's mind against another mind with deadly reason and interest. One desires no transference of affection, demands no ignoble homage or gratitude.… (more)

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