Art: Glories of the Hunt

"A nobleman he was; greatly did his hounds love him." So did one medieval minstrel apostrophize his hero, suggesting that a good hunting dog might be a duke's best friend. He was not far off. Hounds were often treated better than serfs. Huge preserves were set aside for game, and poachers were punished with mutilation or death. In fact, "venery" (the kind practiced in the field rather than the bed) even had the approval of the church, which exhorted dukes and princelings to engage in hunting to avoid the sin of indolence. In addition,...

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