By Ruth Dudley Edwards
Ten Lords A-Leaping is perhaps the best of the three Ruth Dudley Edwards books I’ve read. A strong plot, a sometimes merciless, but fair, dissection of the characters and motivations of the two sides in the fight for the banning of fox hunting and great descriptions of such institutions as the House of Lords and the English countryside.
As always, I have some problems squaring my lefty tendencies with the stance chosen by Ruth Dudley Edwards. I do think that there are better ways of fox control than having caravans of cars follow cavalry charges that follow a nightmare of dogs that follow one little fox. And I do think, too, that it’s not always necessary to mess with other people’s occupations, no matter how distasteful. It’s like adultery; it’s not something I do, but I don’t concern myself with other people’s proclivities — not even when adultery almost always means someone gets hurt. Likewise, if people want to hunt, let them hunt. And if they hunt an edible animal, so much the better, since a nice game pie with deer, pheasant, mincemeat, saffron, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, onions and eggs is definitely a Good Thing.
Anyway, her book, first published in 1995, now has been made into a fantasy by the
British government, so I wasn’t even sure where to file my note of it…