A General System of Horsemanship
This classic work is both one of the most beautiful books on horses ever published and a highly significant landmark in the development of equestrian technique and literature. The 'General System' dates from Newcastle's exile in Europe with Charles II during the Cromwellian rebellion.
It was first published in 1658 in a French translation, and illustrated with 42 superb engravings of horses, which also accompanied this English language edition almost a century later. The book has long been esteemed, both for content and beauty, and both of the illustrated editions have become virtually unobtainable in recent years. Though some of Newcastle's methods may appear archaic today, his emphasis on systematic and humane training was revolutionary for its era and his teaching generally has exerted a lasting and far-reaching influence on the whole art of riding. His writing style is not quite contemporary but it is still full of wit as well as wisdom and at least as easy to read as, say, Dryden or Jonson (of whom Newcastle was a patron). All in all, there is nothing like this book in print in English today - the perfect gift for horse-lovers, art lovers or bibliophiles.