No Way But Gentlenesse: A Memoir Of How Kes, My Kestrel, Changed My Life by Richard HinesNo Way But Gentlenesse: A Memoir Of How Kes, My Kestrel, Changed My Life by Richard Hines

No Way But Gentlenesse: A Memoir Of How Kes, My Kestrel, Changed My Life

byRichard Hines

Hardcover | May 24, 2016

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There is no way but gentlenesse to redeeme a Hawke.
--Edmund Bert, 1619

Born and raised in the South Yorkshire mining village of Hoyland Common, Richard Hines remembers sliding down heaps of coal dust, hearing whispers of "accidents" in the pit, listening for the siren at the end of mine shifts, and praying for his father's safe return. At age eleven, Richard's prospects suddenly dimmed when he failed the trials for English Grammar School, though his older brother Barry, evidently their mother's favorite, had passed and seemed headed for great things.

Crushed by a system that swiftly and permanently decided that some children do not merit a real education, and persecuted by the cruel antics of his English schoolteachers, Richard spent his time in the fields and meadows just beyond the colliery slag heap. One morning, walking on the grounds of a ruined medieval manor, he came across a nest of kestrels. Instantly captivated but without a role model to learn from, he sought out ancient falconry texts from the local library and pored over the strange and beautiful language there. With just these books, some ingenuity, and his profound respect for the hawk's indomitable wildness, Richard learned to "man" or train his kestrel, Kes, and in the process became a man himself.

No Way But Gentlenesse is a breathtaking memoir of one remarkable boy's love for a culture lost to time, and his attempt to find salvation in the natural world.

Richard Hines has worked as a building laborer, in an office, and he was Deputy Head in a school. But he has spent most of his career as a documentary filmmaker, starting his own production company and working for the BBC and Channel 4 before becoming a lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University. He lives in Sheffield and frequently walks...
Title:No Way But Gentlenesse: A Memoir Of How Kes, My Kestrel, Changed My LifeFormat:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 8.56 × 5.99 × 0.99 inPublished:May 24, 2016Publisher:Bloomsbury USALanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1632865025

ISBN - 13:9781632865021


Editorial Reviews

"This is a work of enchanting honesty and tenderness; it is as gentle and inspiring to the reader as a falconer is with his hawks. Hines has a deep and lifelong passion for birds of prey, creatures of implacable wildness which have nevertheless lived and hunted with humans for millennia. Full of fascinating detail about the training of raptors, and kestrels in particular, No Way But Gentlenesse is far more than a book on falconry. Rich with history and anecdote, lit with humour and passionate social concern, it gives us new insights into the making of one of our best-loved films. It speaks of love, family, history, and education, and illuminates how an obsession can enrich and shape one's life. Reading it was a true pleasure." -Helen Macdonald, author of H IS FOR HAWK"Captivating and inspiring . . . [Hines's] story is grounded and uplifting, accessible yet aspirational--a pleasurable bend of conflicts that demonstrates the power of nature and the good that comes from nurturing one's passions." -Publishers Weekly"Throughout his memoir, Hines provides captivating descriptions and explanations of training the kestrels and how to 'hack' them back to the wild, and the author's love of his subject inevitably shows through . . . A delightful story of a boy, his birds, and his pursuit of knowledge in spite of society's dictates." -Kirkus Reviews"The prose is as honed and svelte as the kestrels themselves, searingly honest, and sharp as a raptor's eye. A poignant life story that will grip you from the first to the very last page, and make you well up with tears and cry with laughter." -BBC Wildlife"Worth having. And its plain-spoken and unflashy but eloquent account, as its title suggests, of all sorts of gentleness, first to do with the taming of meat-eating raptors, but then also related to Hines's human kith and kin, runs deep into the literature of birds and people." -Guardian, Book of the Week 20 February 2016"A thoughtful and evocative memoir . . . A must for H Is for Hawk fans." -Sunday Express"Hines graces us with a story at once age-old and utterly original, told with heart, wit and resilience . . . I haven't read a book as engaging as this in a very long time." -Malcolm Brooks, author of award-winning novel PAINTED HORSES"Hines was virtually a throwaway child, in a society which left few choices for the poor. His pursuit of an almost impossible 'upper-class' sport, without so much as a mentor, gave him the confidence to become a teacher and then a filmmaker, and finally to write this book. It is a small masterpiece, the best book with falconry since H Is for Hawk." -Stephen J. Bodio, author of A RAGE FOR FALCONS, QUERENCIA, and EAGLE DREAMS"A tender, often brutally realistic story of transformation, of love for an ancient tradition and the survival of natural beauty in the modern world." -Saga, Book of the Month"Rarely, if ever, have I had such a feeling of intimacy with an author as he tells about his life and draws me in completely . . . Ultimately, the author, having entertained and captivated the reader throughout the book, moves on in the conclusion, leaving in his wake many readers who have 'lived' his life with him and found their own lives enlarged by their contact." - Seeing the World Through Books"Vivid and direct . . . Hines's book holds the reader throughout, and can be read straight through." - Times Literary Supplement