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The Age of the Horse: An Equine Journey through Human History Paperback – 5 Oct 2017
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Susanna Forrest is the outstanding writer at the erudite end of horse madness... Forrest, a social anthropologist by training, heart truly pierced, has written a profound historical love story.... Her book is original, cerebral and from the heart. Thinking jodhpur-wearers will love it. -- Melanie Reid * The Times * From Xenophon to Hitler via Chinese polo and the battle of Waterloo, this extraordinary work demonstrates how much better world history looks with a horse in the foreground. -- Meg Rosoff Whether describing the splendours of the haute ecole, the miseries of the American horsemeat trade, or the horse-thronged streets of 19th century London, Forrest writes with a fine descriptive vigour. Her essayistic approach allows for an exhilarating blend of the historical and the personal, with lively digressions -- Jane Shilling * Evening Standard * A richly informative, lively and elegantly written overview of the horse in human culture and history... Anyone with even the slightest interest in horses and their past, present and future as human companions, allies or victims should be sure to read it and learn from it. -- Peter Mitchell, Fellow in Archaeology, University of Oxford No animal more deserves a rigorous and deep investigation of its place in human life, and no one is better positioned to provide it than Susanna Forrest. She approaches her subject with both love and lucidity, with a sharp awareness of the limits of what we can know about horses. -- Justin E. H. Smith, Professor of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Paris The Age of the Horse surprises and delights at every turn. This thoroughly and imaginatively researched, beautifully written book takes us to new destinations and offers new stories from the frontlines of horse-human sociality. -- Donna Landry, professor of English and American literature, University of Kent A very detailed, well-researched history of the evolution, domestication, and usage of horses throughout the ages and in different geographic areas. Susanna Forrest travelled the globe to learn about the practices of the past - including the horse at work and in war and religion - and about how people look upon horses today. -- Robert Sommer, Distinguished Professor, University of California, Davis The Age of the Horse takes horses seriously in their multiplicity, in all the different ways they have been and are a part of our lives . . . This is rigorously researched, but accessible. Through the common history of humans and equids, it is a tribute to the adaptability of both species. -- Robin Irvine, University of St Andrews Susanna Forrest tells the complete story of the horse, from the Mongolian steppes to Victorian coaches and Amish farms, in a book filled with vivid anecdotes and big ideas. -- Boria Sax, author of CITY OF RAVENS Many a horse lover would prefer to spend their entire day on the trail or at the race track, with no other human to taint the majesty of the experience. Susanna Forrest goes even further, delivering all of history with a sharp equine focus. Through her fascinating delving she creates a magical world where these exquisite creatures reign supreme. -- Elizabeth Mitchell, author of THREE STRIDES BEFORE THE WIRE and LIBERTY'S TORCH The illustrations are beautiful, the facts astonishing * Mail on Sunday * In charting the evolution of the horse, Forrest covers wide sweeps of history and geography with dexterity and panache... The Age of the Horse is full of facts and rich anecdote -- Robin Oakley * Literary Review * Finding a literary horse book, one that is both substantial and presents a staggering use of language, is an impossible task akin to finding a 6-year-old, well-trained, sensible gelding for a reasonable price. Susanna Forrest's The Age of the Horse is just such a miracle... It is a triumph, and one to be enjoyed by anyone looking for a good read. -- Gretchen Lida * Washington Independent Review of Books *
The fascinating story of the horse from their origins to the present day, via centuries of global human history.See all Product description
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The book is of amazing quality and the pictures are extremely detailed.
Delivery times were exceptional and the book arrived in time for Christmas.
In eight chapters Susanna examines: the evolution of the horse, its domestication, the wild horse, the power of the horse, and horses in war. There is a short bibliography, maps and numerous fascinating illustrations. The whole is an absorbing account of a wonderful animal. Forrest makes it clear that her book is not a history of the horse. it is, she says, a wander down six bridle roads that branch out into more pathways around the world.
Horses are used in more ways than any other animal. They pull wagons and ploughs, we ride them, they carry loads for us, some eat its meat, they perform enormously important military roles on the battlefield and on ceremonial occasions, we keep them as pets and they have been symbolized around the world in statues. The author relates in her most attractive book that a French naturalist described the horse as ' the most noble conquest of mankind'.
This book is a superb successor to her memoir of 2012, 'If Wishes Were Horses'. It is very clever and fresh. some of the writing is sublime, some facts are nuggets of pure gold. For example, we learn that horses thrive much better on classical music than jazz. The French used to call a horse a bidet, both are straddled. Her description of the horse in Victorian London is full of fascinating detail such as the fact that cab horses did a 40 mile day, six days a week. Their life was on average only three years. Other facts include : 20,000 died at the battle of Waterloo, many more thousands died in the Great War, a war that would have been impossible without the horse, and between 1947-8 over 200,000 horses were put down in the UK because the internal combustion engine had made them redundant.
Susanna, once an editor of Erotic Review, is a social anthropologist by training She has written an outstanding and original story about a magnificent creature. Read it.
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