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The Goshawk

By: TH White

215 pages, Illus

New York Review of Books

Paperback | Oct 2007 | #169874 | ISBN-13: 9781590172490
Availability: Usually dispatched within 48 hours
NHBS Price: £15.99 $20/€18 approx

About this book

Between human beings and other animals there exists both an unbridgeable gulf and an insurmountable attraction. T. H. White was a young author searching for a subject who found himself reading manuals of falconry, none of them less than a half-century old, and one of them dating back to the time of Shakespeare. Immediately, White moved to the country and wrote to Germany to acquire a young goshawk to train. Gos, as White called the bird, was ferocious and Gos was free, and White had no idea how to break him in beyond the ancient (and long superseded) practice of depriving him of sleep, which meant that White too went for days without rest. Slowly man and bird entered a state of delirium and intoxication, a mixture of attraction and repulsion not at all unlike love.

White kept a daybook detailing the developments in his relationship with Gos-at once a tale of obsession, a comedy of errors, and a hymn of praise to the ferocity and independence of the hawk. It was this that became 'The Goshawk', since recognized as yet another brilliant manifestation of the remarkable imagination that produced 'The Once and Future King'.

Originally published in 1951.

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