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Reynard the Fox
Edited by Philip Errington
Categories: 20th Century
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (144 pages)
(Pub. Dec 2008)
The fox was strong, he was full of running,
He could run for an hour and then be cunning,
But the cry behind him made him chill,
They were nearer now and they meant to kill.
They meant to run him until his blood
Clogged on his heart as his brush with mud,
Till his back bent up and his tongue hung flagging,
And his belly and brush were filthed from dragging ...
from Reynard the Fox by John Masefield
Reynard the Fox is one of the great poems of the English countryside and rural life. The headlong dash of John Masefield's narrative carries the reader on an exhilarating chase through the meadows and copses of the landscape the poet loved, pursued by a richly characterised community. In its deep sense of place and its humane sympathy for the hunted animal, the poem becomes a nostalgic celebration of an England that was lost in the trenches of the Great War.
Philip W. Errington, bibliographer of John Masefield (1878-1967) and editor of his Selected Poems in the Fyfield series, has edited Reynard anew from the original manuscript. An introduction and detailed note on the text, together with additional Masefield texts related to the work, complete this definitive edition of the work.
Cover illustration: The fox and his foes, from Jugend by Ludwig Hohlwin, 1917 (copyright Mary Evans Picture Library). Cover design by StephenRaw.com.
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