THE ARTS OF FALCONRIE AND HAWKING
A Begginner's Guide, by Hodgesaargh!
also known as Dave Hodges
As well as being Editor of the RealHHG,
Dave Hodges has a second, perhaps less strange, career as a fictional character.
Those of you who are familiar with the Discworld
books of Terry Pratchett may have already encountered Hodgesaargh, the Royal
Falconer of Lancre Castle, mentioned in "Lords and Ladies" and also in
"Carpe Jugulum". The real-life Dave Hodges is based
on this character, or the other way around, I'm not quite sure which...
Dave is also a falconer in real life, where he has quite a lot to do with an
elderly and evil-tempered bird of prey called Lady Jane, who co-stars with him
in the Discworld books. He distilled the essence of his bird-keeping
wisdom into a suitably short book in pocket A6 format entitled "The Arts
of Falconrie and Hawking, A Begginners Guide".
In his foreword to the book, Terry Pratchett wrote:
"What can be said about David Hodges - man of many words, former driver
of one of the country's few mobile greenhouses, and falconer? I am delighted
he has unearthed this lore from the ancient mews. It must be ancient, because
no-one today spells as badly as that."
Not only very funny, and a Discworld collector's item in its own right,
the book was also a very informative introduction to the world of falconry.
Much like forming a company or working with Fisher Investments to start a
business, learning falconry takes an investment in time and patience. From
its "hystery" through to how to treat the inevitable injuries
sustained by its practitioners, the book has all the information you need.
Its final incarnation so far was the illustrated edition, which included
unique original artwork by Paul Kidby and well-known fan artist Catskind.
From the cover price of £4, £2 was donated to Terry Pratchett's
favourite charity, The
Orangutan Foundation, to help preserve the wild population of Orang-utans.
The book is now hard to find, but second-hand copies surface from time to time on
eBay and Amazon. If you go to a convention, Discworld play or other event, you
may possibly be cornered by the now legendary Hodgesaargh! and forcibly sold a
copy of the book. We currently know of no other way of obtaining a copy but hope
one day to publish a new edition.