Shooting: A Season of Discovery – The Duchess of Rutland 2012 – First Edition Being married to the Duke of Rutland, Emma the Duchess of Rutland has for many years fulfilled the role of co-host at their famous pheasant and partridge shoots at Belvoir (pronounced Beaver) Castle in Leicestershire, central England. As such the Duchess thought she had a reasonably good understanding of British shooting but having taken the time to converse with as many people involved in the sport as possible – Conservationists, Gamekeepers, Guns, Loaders, Beaters, Pickers Up and game bird suppliers to name but a few – she found her knowledge wanting in detail in most areas. Her journey around the UK to rectify these deficiencies gave rise to this very informative and well presented book co-authored by Jane Pruden, a freelance writer specialising in British country life, field sports, heritage and food.
The combined talents of Ms Pruden and the Duchess provide the reader with an excellent written and photographic insight into the various elements of shooting in the UK including the long and colourful history of the Belvoir Castle shoot and the Duke and Duchess’s time there as custodians of this famous English landmark.
Essays covering the raring, shoot day presentation and shooting tips for the major British game birds the grouse, partridge, pheasant, duck and geese, snipe and woodcock and pigeons from various locations around the UK are easy reading and educational.
The quality photos peppered liberally throughout the book provide further explanation and example of the Duchess’s “season of shooting discovery”.
The book is nicely rounded off with the inclusion of some tasty game based recipes (including helpful end product photos) from celebrated chef Mike Robinson and a short summary of the new projects Belvoir Castle are undertaking to keep the Estate a going concern in today’s tough financial times including the development of an Estate shop and a traditional English style shotgun they would market as the “Rutland”.
The Duke and the Duchess are strong supporters of the British country lifestyle and the expanding conservation efforts that are being undertaken by Government, NGOs, clubs and associations and private citizens across the British Isles to ensure that lifestyle can continue for generations to come. That message comes through loud and clear in this book.
A welcome addition to most libraries and coffee tables.