From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion, the remarkable story of the heroic rescue of priceless horses in the closing days of World War II
Lucy Worsley learns to ride - in fact, she learns how to dance on horseback before putting on a show for the paying public! Now, if this sounds mad, horse ballet or manege was once the noblest of pursuits practised by everyone from courtier to king in the first half of the 17th century. Having become fascinated by this horsey hobby whilst writing her PhD, Lucy is on a quest to find out why this peculiar skill was once so de rigeur - learning the lost art from its modern masters; visiting the Spanish Riding School in Vienna to witness spectacular equestrian shows; exploring its military origins through donning Henry VIII-style jousting armour; and discovering horse ballet's legacies in competitive dressage and, more surprisingly, in the performances of the Royal Horse Artillery, the King's Troop today.
In early twentieth-century Brittany, two peasants marry, have a son, and live in traditional Breton ways: three generations under one roof, a division of labor between the sexes, elders' stories at night, politics and religion during their little free time. Times are hard: la Chienne du Monde drives some to suicide; Ankou (death) is close at hand. Pierre is born into this republican family, his lyric childhood interrupted by the outbreak of war and his father's conscription. He learns his catechism and, as a child of a Reds, also reveres school. His grandfather and father often put him on their shoulders, giving him a ride on the horse of pride.