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Horse Synopsis

Full of wisdom, passion and wonder, Horse is the utterly fascinating and enlightening story of horses and humans from the beginning of time to the present. Ever since the dawn of human history, horses have held a mystical sway over our imagination: we respect and revere them like no other animal. We have conceived of them as both domesticated and free, both belonging to our civilisation and to the wild. At first, ours was an encounter of death, as prehistoric humans hunted horses all across the steppes of Asia, and throughout Europe. But they also painted horses full of grace and beauty on the walls of their caves, and gave them a central place in their songs and sacred rituals. Long before the invention of writing and the wheel, horses began to shape the way humans lived. Drawing on archaeology, biology, art, literature and ethnography, Horse illuminates the relationship between humans and horses throughout history - from Alexander the Great to Genghis Khan, from the Moors in Spain and the knights in France to the great horse cultures of native America. From the Ice Age to the Industrial Age, horses have provided sustenance, transportation, status, companionship and the ability to establish and expand empires. Included are stories of horses at work, at war and at play, both wild horses and famous horses, in paintings, books and movies. Horse looks at the ancient traditions of horse trading and horse stealing, horse racing and games with horses, and at rodeos and circuses, jumping and dressage. It compares techniques of training and traditions of breeding, from the Persians to the Nez Perce, from Lippizaners to Percherons, and ponders the intelligence of horses, their skill and strength as well as their grace and beauty.

Horse Press Reviews

An enchanting essay: poetic and personal, but also learned and reflective. J. Edward Chamberlin combines equine magic with horse sense. He is a sort of honorary Houyhnhnm, whispering wisdom into human nostrils. Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, author of Civilizations

Book Information

ISBN: 9781904955368
Publication date: 30th May 2007
Author: J. Edward Chamberlin
Publisher: Signal Books Ltd
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 256 pages
Categories: Social & cultural history, Horses & ponies,

About J. Edward Chamberlin

J. Edward Chamberlin is University Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto. His books include If This Is Your Land, Where Are Your Stories?, The Harrowing of Eden: White Attitudes Towards Native Americans, and Come Back to Me My Language: Poetry and the West Indies. The grandson of an Alberta rancher, Chamberlin has bred horses and collected stories about them for much of his life.

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