The Fox in the Cupboard: A Memoir

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9780141009780: The Fox in the Cupboard: A Memoir

With a couple of weeks' unexpected holiday and no chance of going away, Jane Shilling, journalist, mother of one and resident of Greenwich, decided to pursue a childhood ambition and learn to ride. A teacher - Mrs Rogers - was easy to find. What she hadn't reckoned on was that Mrs Rogers was a Master of Foxhounds. So began Jane Shilling's "odd, late-blooming affair" with foxhunting. This is a book about searching for the place where you belong, about developing a passion for something when you thought it was too late. Jane Shilling uses hunting as a metaphor for self-discovery; but The Fox In The Cupboard is also a journey into the hidden landscapes of the present and the past.

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About the Author:

Jane Shilling is a columnist for The Times and a book reviewer for the Sunday Telegraph, Evening Standard and The Times. She lives in Greenwich with her son and hunts with the Ashford Valley.

From Publishers Weekly:

Starred Review. In this splendid memoir, London Times columnist Shilling details her passion for foxhunting, a slow romance that begins midlife with a desire to ride, which she painstakingly learns to do, then escalates: she buys her own horse and becomes an avid rider and devoted hunter. The lure of foxhunting, a demanding and highly regimented sport with packs of hounds trained from puppyhood, isn't an American penchant (and foxhunting with hounds was recently outlawed in Britain), but Shilling brings the world of the hunt to vivid and bloody life. She lovingly and breathtakingly describes every detail, from the dressing of horse and rider and the wild determination of the hounds to the thrill of the chase, right down to the capture of the "talismanic" brush (the tail of the hunted fox). In telling the history of foxhunting, the breeding of hounds, Shilling's hunt club, her move from the city (London) to the country (Greenwich) and the transcendent emotions she feels, Shilling shifts seamlessly between past and present, personal and political. Readers might find Shilling too glib on the violence of the hunt, which she insists is neither as cruel as bullfighting nor as violent as other means of "controlling" foxes. Few may come away sharing Shilling's hunt politics, but none will fail to appreciate the provocation of her arguments nor fail to enjoy her evocative tale of her love affair with the English countryside in all its feral glory.
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Shilling, Jane
Published by Penguin Books Ltd 2005-02-03 (2005)
ISBN 10: 0141009780 ISBN 13: 9780141009780
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