Monday, March 24, 2014

T H White Memorial

I am an unabashed fan of Terence Hanbury White; whatever his personal faults and agonies, he left a legacy of good books about things that interest me and my friends-- probably all naturalists and writers on country matters and falconers who understand honesty. If he had written just the Arthurian trilogy and The Goshawk he would be remembered; as it is, though he is the only writer I formally collect, I am still missing two of his many (what?-- you think I am going to the library to count?) books, despite three decades of searching.

Falconer- biologist Stacia Novy, who has appeared here before, found out that there is no memorial to White, neither in England where he is temporarily forgotten, in Greece where he died on a cruise, or in the US where he is dimly seen as someone who inspired a hit musical (Camelot) and a children's cartoon (The Sword in the Stone, a miserably Disney- fied version of what may just be one of my favorite books of all time).

Stacia knew I had done some White research in his papers at the Harry Ransom Center in Austin with Helen Macdonald, whose forthcoming book on training a Gos and reading White, H is for Hawk , should be on the must- read list for all Q- Philes.

So she recruited me and the young English nature writer Conor Jameson, whose recent book Looking for the Goshawk is worth ordering on English Amazon without waiting for a US edition, to make a case for White.

So we did, in the Journal of the North American Falconer's Association. Unfortunately it is at least right now not available to non- members-- I may publish it here later, as it is not long. Stacia has persuaded the Peregrine Fund to make a memorial for him at the World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise, a place any raptor- phile must visit, if we can come up with the relatively reasonable sum. If you have been delighted or moved or even irritated by White and Gos and The Wart, consider contributing a few dollars. The pages below, annotated by Stacia, will show you how-- right or double click to enlarge. Remember, this is just HOW-- you must go to their site first! She adds these instructions:

1.  Type this link into the browser:

2.  The online form will appear on screen; it will look exactly like the attached screenshots (top and bottom)

3.  Do NOT press the big, red, round button at the top

4.  Monetary Donations must be in US Dollars

5.  Fill in the yellow highlighted areas of the Donation Form Top

6.  Select item(s) indicated in the drop-down menu(s)

7.  If the Address menu does NOT have the state or foreign country listed, select "N/A"

8.  Fill in e-mail address to receive an automatic donation receipt

9.  Fill in the yellow highlighted areas of the Donation Form Bottom

10.  Fill in applicable credit card information

11.   Fill in Tribute Information as shown: "Terence Hanbury White"

12.  Click the square "Donate Now" at the bottom of the screen

13.  An e-mail confirmation will be sent as a record of donation


Andrea said...

Just curious, which are the two titles you're missing?

Steve Bodio said...

The Green Bay Tree, one of his two early books of poetry, and Dead Mr Nixon, a mystery collaboration, his second or third. I have at very least American firsts (and usually firsts, period) for every other.

Since we are talking collecting, I also have American firsts for every Bruce Chatwin, by purest luck-- I bought them each new. And firsts for all but two Patrick Leigh Fermor, because either Betsy or I did-- and later though good editions for A Time of Gifts and A Time to Keep Silence.

Despite some people's calling my library a collection, those are the only ones I have "complete".

Anonymous said...

How could someone NOT LOVE T. H. White's "The Once And Future King"????? I haven't read "The Goshawk" yet, but I HAVE read(and reread) that! I especially loved all the animal transformations, falconry lore, and Robin "Wood"! About time, perhaps, I dust off my old copy and reread it again--it's been awhile! And NOW would be a great time to do a PROPER film of the book--with the special effects possible nowadays, it could seriously compete the recent Tolkien efforts by Peter Jackson. Maybe HE'D be interested?.....L.B.

Andrea said...

Here's 3 copies of Green Bay Tree, but I couldn't find Dead Mr Nixon available. (Seems there have been a few copies floating around but all sold.)

Andrea said...

I'm afraid I'm not deeply into collecting rare and/or first editions. The closest I've come to that is the 1909 Mort d'Arthur published by Dent, a second edition and in so-so condition. I got it for the Beardsley illustrations, which are exquisite. :)