Welcome to Episode #23 of That Shakespeare Life, the podcast that takes you behind the curtain and into the life of William Shakespeare.

I believe that if you want to understand Shakespeare’s plays, then understanding the life of William Shakespeare, the man, is essential. This podcast is designed to help you explore early modern England as Shakespeare would have lived it by interviewing the historians, performers, authors, and experts that know him best.

David Horobin is the joint Director of the of the British Archives of FalconryHe joins us today to help us get to know falconry as a sport and exactly how the bard knew so much about it when he wrote about the sport in his plays.

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David Horobin has had a lifelong passion for falconry and it’s cultural heritage.His back ground in literature and history helped him complete an undergraduate dissertation on the symbolism of falconry in late and medieval English literature, published as Falconry in Literature. Since then he has researched and published numerous titles on Shakespeare, Simon Latham, and contributed to or edited articles on many aspects of falconry and it’s English national heritage.
In this episode, I’ll be asking David about :

  • What is it about Shakespeare’s phrases that make historians think he watched, as opposed to read about, falconry?
  • Shakespeare uses words like “hoodwinked” and “Scarfed the eye” which are falconry terms. Will you explain what that means in terms of the sport?
  • Do you think Shakespeare would have practiced falonry?
  • …and more!

Books David Recommends:

Simon Latham Falconry (1633 Edition)

Learn more about David and the British Archives of Falconry.

British Archies of Falconry Website

David is published in the latest edition of the British Archives of Falconry which you can see here.

If you would like to get involved and practice falconry, David recommends these places specifically and also tells you to look around for various falconry centers where you can see trained hawks fly (but that’s notably different from real falconry.) Happy hunting!

North American Falconers Association

Birds of Prey

International Association of Falconry

Cool things on amazon related to today’s topic that I thought you might want to know about.

These are affiliate products.

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Want to learn more about Shakespeare and Hawks?

Join the newsletter and download this free infographic featuring facts about Elizabethan hawks
and the uses of falconry terminology from Shakespeare's plays.