Small Online Exhibition “From Our Rare Book Collection” (November 2021)
This time we are displaying online Cradock, C. Sporting Notes in the Far East. London: Griffith, Farran, Okeden & Welsh, [18--], published in London in 1889.
This book, published in 1889, is a guidebook to sport hunting in the Far East. The author Christopher George Francis Maurice Cradock (1862-1914), a Lieutenant of the British Royal Navy, was an unparalleled hunting enthusiast. During his three-year stay in the Far East, he stopped at the Tatary region, Japan, Korea, and China, and in his spare time, he enjoyed hunting in a wide variety of locations. In his book, he details his experiences and advice to his fellow hunters, such as considerations when caring for hunting dogs, suitable clothing for hunting, forms of boats and sizes of guns, and examples of Japanese phrases that are useful to remember.
Cradock was born in July 1862 in Yorkshire in northern England and enlisted in the Royal Navy at the age of 13. He served in the military, mainly in the Mediterranean and the Far East, and steadily pursued his career. In 1912, he was awarded the Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order for his dedicated service and achievements in the Navy. Two years later, he was killed in action off the coast of Coronel, Chile, in the early stages of World War I. In addition to this book, he penned two other books on the Navy.
This book, which deals with the topic of sport hunting, has attractive illustrations as well as engaging content. Presumably because Cradock's lifelong companion was a dog, the frontispiece is a lithograph of a dog named Rock, and the first chapter focuses on hunting dogs. A chapter relating to Japan starts with an illustration of a torii gate and a banner with Mount Fuji and a lake standing in the background and birds flying around. Intriguingly, the motifs representing "Japan" at the end of the 19th century do not differ so much from those of today. Cradock visited Hakodate, Sapporo, Yokohama, Kobe, Shimonoseki, and Nagasaki. Showing the hunting grounds in each of these areas, he vividly described the climate, flora, fauna, and hunting methods. It is a rare book that occupies a somewhat unique position among the publications of its age.
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