Farewell to the Horse: The Final Century of Our Relationship
THE SUNDAY TIMES HISTORY BOOK OF THE YEAR 2017 'A beautiful and thoughtful exploration of the role of the horse in creating our world' James Rebanks 'Scintillating, exhilarating ... you have never read a book like it ... a new way of considering history' Observer The relationship between horses and humans is an ancient, profound and complex one. For millennia horses provided the strength and speed that humans lacked. How we travelled, farmed and fought was dictated by the needs of this extraordinary animal. And then, suddenly, in the 20th century the links were broken and the millions of horses that shared our existence almost vanished, eking out a marginal existence on race-tracks and pony clubs. Farewell to the Horse is an engaging, brilliantly written and moving discussion of what horses once meant to us. Cities, farmland, entire industries were once shaped as much by the needs of horses as humans. The intervention of horses was fundamental in countless historical events. They were sculpted, painted, cherished, admired; they were thrashed, abused and exposed to terrible danger. From the Roman Empire to the Napoleonic Empire every world-conqueror needed to be shown on a horse. Tolstoy once reckoned that he had cumulatively spent some nine years of his life on horseback. Ulrich Raulff's book, a bestseller in Germany, is a superb monument to the endlessly various creature who has so often shared and shaped our fate.
A beautiful and thoughtful exploration of the role of the horse in creating our world... lyrical and creative...I very much enjoyed it. Some of the scenes in it will stay with me for a long time to come * James Rebanks * Intellectual and passionate ... Raulff's material is gloriously diverse ... [a] refined and ambitious book * The Sunday Times * It becomes evident within three paragraphs that you have never read a book like it ... his writerly pace is exhilarating -- Kate Kellaway * Observer * Covers ground as rapidly and thrillingly as a Cossack horseman. It lays bare a dizzying network of connections and repeatedly offers unfamiliar approached to old themes * Literary Review * Sex, violence and 6,000 years of horse power... an elegy to the way horses have galloped through our culture' -- Melanie Reid * The Times * This is not the Pony Club Manual or a trot through the more familiar sights of equestrian art history; it's Kafka, Aby Warburg, Tolstoy, psychoanalytic theory, Nietzsche and bleak monochrome photos in the style of Sebald. This epic enterprise is relieved by Raulff's spare, vivid style and deep learning -- Susannah Forrest * Literary Review * A brilliant, entertaining tour-de-force * Die Zeit * Amazing insights sweep through the book - an entrancing history packed with stories * Neue Zurcher Zeitung * Great cultural history * Der Tagesspiegel * Ulrich Raulff is a wonderful storyteller * Sudwestrundfunk * A fabulous book -- Uli Hufen An exciting and entertaining ride through various landscapes -- Harry Nutt
Ulrich Raulff is Director of the German Literature Archive in Marbach am Neckar. Previously, he was Literary Editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Managing Editor of the Suddeutsche Zeitung. He has written books on Marc Bloch and Aby Warburg and won both the the Anna Kruger Prize and the Ernst Robert Curtius Prize for Essay Writing. His book on the influence of the German poet Stefan George was awarded the 2010 Leipzig Book Fair Prize.