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Originally published in 1973, The Leaping Hare is a rare and remarkable book about every aspect of the life and legend of the wild hare, exploring nature, poetry, folklore, history and art. A frequent feature in the mythology of many cultures, the hare has been linked with mystery and witchcraft throughout civilisation, and still today retains an air of enchantment.
Born in the mining town of Abercynon, South Wales, George Ewart Evans (1909-88) was a pioneering oral historian. In 1948 he settled with his family in Blaxhall, Suffolk, and through conversing with his neighbours he developed an interest in their dialect and the aspects of rural life which they described. Many were agricultural labourers, born before the turn of the century, who had worked on farms before the arrival of mechanisation. With the assistance of a tape recorder he collected oral evidence of the dialect, rural customs, traditions and folklore throughout East Anglia.
"A lovely book that is both exploratory and rooted in a sense of the hare's mystery."
– Seamus Heaney
"Here, from stubble to stewing pot, are all the facts that can be assembled; science, literature, mythology, superstition, semantics, venery, and a rich swathe of countryman's talk [...] This delightful book."