A Patrick’s Day Hunt, 1905

March 17, 2016, 12:58 pm

In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, we are sharing a rare book from the T.S. Mathews collection, A Patrick’s Day Hunt. This particular edition is held by only one other library in the world. The story relates the misadventures of the narrator and his neighbors, as they participate in and observe a fox hunt for Saint Patrick’s Day. Although we may associate “the hunt” with Britain, the use of scenthounds to track prey was practiced in the Babylonian and Ancient Egyptian times, and was known as venery. The type of fox hunt we recognize today from pop-culture references like Mary Poppins or The Fox and the Hound, originated in Great Britain in the 16th century. Red foxes were introduced along the American eastern seaboard in the middle of the 17th century, and the earliest recorded fox hunt for group benefit in America was held in 1747. Even more interesting? George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both kept packs of foxhounds before and after the American Revolution.   We hope everyone enjoys this beautiful day, and the treat of seeing such a unique and hard to find volume.

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