11 March, 2013

VI.30.023. Read Edward of Norwich, The Master of Game

Date Accomplished: 1 Aug. 2011

Edward of Norwich, The Master of Game, ed. William A. Baille-Grohman and F.N. Baillie-Grohman (Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1909)


xi - Edward is Edward III’s grandson, second Duke of York
- The piece was written between 1406 & 1413
- He died at Agincourt
xii - Master of Game is mostly a translation of Gaston de Foix’s Livre de Chasse
xii-xiii - translated ‘The Chase’ while imprisoned & added 5 chapters specifically for English hunting
xiii - Edward’s original work (not translation) is printed in italics in this edition
- 19 manuscripts exist – this edition from Cottonion ms. Vespasian B. XII – dated ≈ 1420
xiv - only 2 of the English mss. Contain illustrations
xvi-xvii  - this edition has apparently been ‘cut down’ a sixth from previous edition – is he meaning size or material?

Forward by Theodore Roosevelt

xxv - Editors left out chapters on ‘trapping and snaring of wild beasts’

The Master of Game

1-2 - makes a distinction between hunting and hawking
2 - Quoting Chaucer!  - indicating knowledge of contemporary literature
5 - so… you’re a sinner if you don’t hunt…
? just meaning idleness leads to sin
9 - The scat of a hart is called ‘fumes’ – n. 2 directs to the appendix which shows the varied names for scat dependent upon the animal
11 - Makes it seem customary that after a hunt, the hunter would wash just his thighs & legs ==> but sometimes his whole body
- love that the Duke added ‘ale’ to the hunter’s meal…  very English
14-15 - Calling the hare both ‘he’ and ‘she’ within the same sentence b/c it was believed that they changed sex
22 - an insight into particularly English hunting practice of using running hounds to catch hares
28 - so many categorizations of the harts – symptomatic of the medieval need to define their world
34 - pretty good about sticking with facts – mentions a myth about Harts killing & eating snakes, but will not ‘affirm’ this
52 - mention of the curée (feeding a portion to the hounds) and the grease (fat) for each of the animals demonstrates the practical nature of the writing
59 - A wolf’s bite is venomous b/c it eats toads!
- werewolves!  Wolves that have had a taste of men
66 - The fox’s defense mechanism while being chased by hounds?  Take a shit…
73 - apparently the King has his own otter hunter…
82 - story of a ‘trial by combat’ of man vs. dog!
85-6 - A description of rabies
92-3 - elaborate ‘medicine’ – like something out of a witches brew…
95 - interesting that Smiths were called on to heal a particular ailment in dogs
123 - arguments for teaching a younger child hunting b/c they learn better
125-6 - a description of a medieval kennel (ideal)
? I like that stones are placed inside for the dogs to piss on – nice touch
132 - another interesting interlude where Edward of Norwich says he included a part of the text to demonstrate terms used ‘beyond the sea’ but not in England
148-51 - Excellent section original to Edward of Norwich actually stating how a king’s hunt of a Hart is suppose to work
151 - Edward of Norwich says of later chapter that “ye may … hear”
? was this meant to be read aloud to an audience and not read?  Or just aloud to one’s self?
152 - Edward of Norwich notes that the term ‘quest’ for hunting hart is a foreign term and is ‘shorter’ than the English, but fails to tell us the English term…
163-4 - The Gathering – Pages go ‘questing’ for game while the Lord waits in a meadow having a party.  The Lord chooses which game to pursue based on the scat that the pages bring back (if they find any…)
181 - Edward of Norwich says all hunting terms come from the hunting of hares
182-3 - all the hunting terms called to the hounds are in French
195-6 - hunters collecting their fees

Edward of Norwich’s own sections/chapters put a large emphasis on the sounds of hunting – constantly talking of the notes to be blown and the voice commands given to the dogs

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