Watson, Alfred E. T. (ed.) & James Edmund Harting

Fur, Feather, & Fin Series: The Rabbit

  • First edition, first printing and a very attractive copy of this volume on rabbits from the Fur and Feather Series, which began publication in 1893 as the only book series devoted to all three aspects of hunting: the animal's biology and behaviour, how it is taken in the field, and the best ways to prepare it for the table. Each book focuses on an individual species and each section is penned by an expert, with many of the contributors being leaders in their respective fields. Beginning with the partridge, the series ran to twelve volumes, with the addition of "Fin" to the title after the editors decided to include volumes on fishing.

    The main author of The Rabbit was James Edmund Harting, a prominent London ornithologist who edited The Naturalist, wrote frequently for the hunting magazine The Field, and served as Assistant Secretary and Librarian of the Linnean Society. He was particularly interested in hawking, and in 1878 founded the New Hawking Club to allow Londoners without easy access to the countryside to view falcons and hawks hunting. This volume contains chapters on rabbit behaviour and biology; different ways of hunting rabbits including ferreting, shooting, trapping, and hawking; and rabbit poaching. The chapter on cooking rabbit includes the delightful sentence, "Rabbit curry is always capital".

  • London: Longman's Green, and Co., 1898. Octavo. Original tan publisher's cloth elaborately decorated in red, brown, and gilt with a rabbit and partridges on the upper board, black coated endpapers. Frontispiece, vignette title, and 9 plates. Bookplate of Charles Frederick Eardley of Shakerley. Some light spots to the cloth, spotting to preliminaries and edges of text block, otherwise a very fresh and attractive copy. Excellent condition.

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