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Hares and rabbits existed together in medieval England, however, the rabbit was a rare beast and much sought after for both its meat and its fur. And, unlike the hare, the rabbit is not believed to be native to Britain, but was deliberately introduced. (There are no written records of them in Britain before Norman times, the 11th century.)
I have several novels in which the characters hunt for hares. Rogue Knight and Summer Warrior (my most recent novel), are two of them. Rogue Knight is set in Yorkshire in 1069-70 when William the Conqueror came north to claim Northumbria. He engaged in a terrifying campaign we know today as the “Harrying of the North”, causing the deaths of as many as 100,000 people. Summer Warrior is set in the Scottish Highlands and Isles and in England in the 12th century. See more.
In Summer Warrior, book 1 in The Clan Donald Saga (my new release!), David, King of Scots, invites Somerled to take part in a hunt in the woods near Irvine where the king is holding court. As the morning of the hunt arrives, Somerled observes,
The day presented all they could hope for in weather, the sky nearly cloudless and the leaves on the trees that had changed with autumn were ablaze with red, yellow and gold. The air, too, spoke of autumn, being dry and crisp.
While the king and his guests break their fast on the riverbank, as was the custom if the day was fair, the huntsmen went forth to seek out the mature stags with great antlers. Somerled and Ragnhild, the Princess of Man, have brought their bows and quivers of arrows, eagerly awaiting the hunt.
Many kinds of dogs and hounds might be used in a hunt in the 12th century. Edward of Norwich, the second Duke of York, who wrote medieval English hunting manuals, listed five types of medieval dogs used in aristocratic hunting: the spaniel, the mastiff, the running hound, the alaunt and the greyhound. See More.
This is my "author blog" that will feature personal updates, what I'm working on, News and other features related to my novels, even some posts from my other blog, Historical Romance Review.