Remember when I thought I would post every Monday about my Morgan history project? Oh well. I’m slowly chipping away, anyway.
Right now, I’ve been thinking a lot about historiography, as in: how to structure and frame the narrative? What approach is the best use of the sources, the best way to tell the story, and the most thoughtful way to revisit important historical questions? How have other people framed their research and storytelling about equine history?
See, one of the hardest parts about writing a book about an animal is that – and forgive me if this seems stupidly obvious – animals don’t speak. They don’t communicate in any traditional sense, at least one that is captured by a typical primary source or historical document. That is doubly hard when you’re working on the story of an animal that lived in a time and a situation in which he was considered more or less disposable.
I’ve been assembling a list of books that are essentially biographies of individual horses, or in some cases horse breeds.
I’d love to hear of any more that you’ve read and would recommend. I need as many examples as possible to think about!
William Nask, Secretariat
Laura Hillenbrand, Seabiscuit
Mim Eichlar Rivas, Beautiful Jim Key
Jane Schwartz, Ruffian
Elizabeth Letts, The Perfect Horse
Elizabeth Letts, The $800 Champion
Robin Hutton, Sgt. Reckless
As a side bonus, when I was double-checking a few names & titles on Amazon (I am writing this on the road, not in front of my bookshelf at home), this book came up.