H&H reviews Red Letter Days by Rory Knight Bruce
RORY KNIGHT BRUCE, now in his 52nd year, may be considered somewhat youthful to embark on his memoirs, but his excursion down memory lane is refreshingly welcome.
Most of the refreshment is due to Rory’s gift for charm and self-deprecating humour: he embarks on self-revelations far beyond those you will find in Nimrod’s Hunting Tours. These are not the scribblings of an amateur, but the crafted work of a skilled journalist who won his spurs on publications such as the Evening Standard, The Spectator, The Field, and latterly as a hunting correspondent for Horse & Hound.
Rory’s candour includes the news that he was conceived in the Berkeley kennels and brought up by his father’s kennelman after his mother left home when he was an infant.
But he did not learn to ride until he was 33, only just before being appointed master of the United on the Welsh Borders, an interesting insight into some mastership recruiting procedures. He was later a Master of the Tedworth and the Torrington Farmers, and recalls all these countries with warm affection for the people and the terrain in which their sport is conducted.
Rory’s late epiphany led him from urban journalism to embark on a sporting journey which, he warns, “requires hopes and sacrifices and a certain amount of juggling with careers”.
Don’t expect politics or polemics in this memoir; it is a record of a man’s attempt to make sense of his life through a return to his roots in hunting, which amazingly can still contribute much to the quality of human life in an increasingly mad world of technology and change.
Published by Quiller. ISBN: 9781846890093