The Goshawk

Research is underway for a new book project, one that’s been brewing for a while but having completed one book already this year (hinted at here), I’m on a roll. This is the initial pencils for what I hope will be the cover painting.

Goshawk’s have a fearsome reputation amongst falconer’s, and if a musical analogy helps, then if a Peregrine Falcon is Marillion, Goshawk’s are Motorhead. No prisoners, all business, all of the time.

I’m reading various texts, including the canonical cornerstone that is T.H. White’s The Goshawk, a book that has benefitted more than most from good covers. Below is a selection:

Left is the original hardback, which still looks radical and fantastic several decades later, and right is the Penguin Modern Classics paperback edition, my copy of which was found in a bookshop on the Cob at Lyme Regis.

And this (left) is a postcard I received from Helen MacDonald, author of H Is For Hawk, another primary research source, alongside (right) a mock-up design I made using my drawing of Helen’s own Goshawk, the original of which I sent to her, resulting in receipt of the postcard.

I’ve also watched David Cobham’s 1969 film ‘The Goshawk’, based on T.H. White’s book, and made for the BBC. There is no way a film like this could get made today. The cinematography, the music, the unhurried pacing – it all speaks of an era before the televisual medium went to down the toilet. Ah well, at least we still have books, and I’ll be working on my contribution towards that over the next few months.

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