Today I have something a bit more modern that was on hand already for another project: Ratcatcher to Scarlet, a book written and illustrated by Cecil Aldin (1870-1935) in 1933.
I wish I had more time to read books like this one! You couldn’t ask for a more clear, concise, and practical explanation of the dos and don’ts of foxhunting. For those who are curious, the title of the book refers to the tweed hunting attire known as a ratcatcher. An apt title, Ratcatcher to Scarlet covers all the bases, from following on foot or horseback, to best practices for cubbing and everything in between.
The book carries on an older tradition in foxhunting literature: the passing down of advice from older generations to younger enthusiasts. Aldin specifically points this out in his preface.
“These notes are for that young entry and not for the old hounds, but we may also include the beginner in the noble art of fox-catching, of whatever age, be he youngster, subaltern, millionaire or embryo Jorrocks. Penned for my son-in-law, I leave them in the form in which they were originally written.”
I greatly enjoy reading Aldin’s writings. An active foxhunter, Aldin used his extensive knowledge of the etiquette and techniques of foxhunting in his many illustrations.
The book is very practical. At heart, it underscores the reality of hunting that transcends the outward spectacle: the successful hunter possesses knowledge of hunting and good riding; nothing can replace that.
Monday - CLOSED
Tuesday - CLOSED
Wednesday - 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Thursday - 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Friday - 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday - 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
“Drawing Covert,” refers to the practice in foxhunting of putting hounds in a covert (pronounced like “cover”), a thicket or wooded brush area, to find the fox.
This blog is about the exhibitions, tours, research, programs, and events, at NSLM on its unique collection of books, archives, paintings, sculpture and much more.