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Book Review: Legends of the Hunt

Any hunter with a penchant for reliving our sport’s enduring classics will keenly add Legends of the Hunt to his or her library.

6/30/2010

Great hunting stories tend to live on in sporting literature, and now there is a handsome, new compilation in a unique form from renowned wildlife artist John Seerey-Lester. Legends of the Hunt chronicles 75 classic encounters that occurred in North America, Africa and India between 1849 and 1933, each entry featuring an original painting that greatly magnifies the brief, evocative text. Included are stories from many of the era’s most prominent sportsmen, including Americans Theodore Roosevelt, Charles Sheldon and Ernest Hemingway, African-hunting legends like Frederick Courteney Selous and  J.A. Hunter, and the dean of tiger hunters, Jim Corbett.

Though served up in brief passages, Seerey-Lester’s writing offers enlightening detail and never fails to set the stage for what is so powerfully conveyed in his paintings.  His ability to render people and animals that are spot-on in the physical and emotional context of the unfolding drama is astounding. The collection embodies a mood-swing range from dark and eerie to triumphant to almost comical. Numerous camp scenes, along with the period dress and equipment, provide a fascinating study in how our forebears tackled life in the wild.

Along with his well-researched hunt summaries, Seerey-Lester created more than 100 new paintings expressly for this showy, large-format book. Any hunter with a penchant for reliving our sport’s enduring classics will keenly add Legends of the Hunt to his or her library.  ($60.00, 200 pages, Legends Press, LLC; www.seerey-lester.com)

To see John Seerey-Lester talk about his newest book, jump over to the video interview.

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