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The Age of the Horse: An Equine Journey Through Human History
     

The Age of the Horse: An Equine Journey Through Human History

by Susanna Forrest
 

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An essential book for anyone who’s ever been captivated by horses, The Age of the Horse is a breathtaking exploration of the enduring connection between humans and Equus caballus. Equestrian expert Susanna Forrest presents a unique, sweeping panorama of the animal’s prominent role in societies around the world and across time.

Fifty-six

Overview


An essential book for anyone who’s ever been captivated by horses, The Age of the Horse is a breathtaking exploration of the enduring connection between humans and Equus caballus. Equestrian expert Susanna Forrest presents a unique, sweeping panorama of the animal’s prominent role in societies around the world and across time.

Fifty-six million years ago, the earliest equid walked the earth—and beginning with the first-known horse-keepers of the Copper Age, the horse has played an integral part in human history. Combining fascinating anthropological detail and incisive personal anecdotes, Forrest draws from an immense range of archival documents as well as literature and art to illustrate how our evolution has coincided with that of horses. In paintings and poems (such as Byron’s famous “Mazeppa”), in theater and classical music (including works by Liszt and Tchaikovsky), representations of the horse have changed over centuries, portraying the crucial impact that we’ve had on each other. Forrest deftly synthesizes this material with her own experience in the field, traveling the globe to give us a diverse, comprehensive look at the horse in our lives today: from Mongolia where she observes the endangered takhi, to a show-horse performance at the Palace of Versailles; from a polo club in Beijing to Arlington, Virginia, where veterans with PTSD are rehabilitated through interaction with horses.

With passion and singular insight, Forrest investigates the complexities of human and horse coexistence, illuminating the multifaceted ways our cultures were shaped by this powerful creature.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“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. Susannah 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: The Dark and Beautiful World of Horse Racing and Liberty’s Torch: The Great Adventure to Build the Statue of Liberty

“Susanna Forrest is the outstanding writer at the erudite end of horse madness . . . To well-rehearsed facts, she brings new detail . . . [with] exuberant description . . . her writing is occasionally sublime . . . for the horse-addicted, a book can get no better than this . . . original, cerebral and from the heart.” —The Times (UK)

“Forrest writes with a fine descriptive vigor . . . an exhilarating blend of the historical and the personal.” —Evening Standard (UK)

“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 The Mythical Zoo: Animals in Myth, Legend, and Literature

“In charting the evolution of the horse up to its present condition, Forrest covers wide sweeps of history with dexterity and panache . . . You don’t need to be a hippophile to enjoy The Age of the Horse.” —Literary Review (UK)

“Powerful, passionate.” —Sunday Times (UK)

“This extraordinary work demonstrates how much better world history looks with a horse in the foreground.” —Meg Rosoff, author of Jonathan Unleashed

“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 and diversity of both species.” —Robin Irvine, University of St Andrews

“A richly informative, lively, and elegantly written overview of the horse in human history and culture.” —Peter Mitchell, University of Oxford

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, University of Kent

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802126511
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
05/02/2017
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Meet the Author


Susanna Forrest lives in Berlin where she works as a writer and editor. She studied social anthropology at the University of Cambridge.