Melissa Holbrook Pierson | Granta

Melissa Holbrook Pierson

Melissa Holbrook Pierson is the author of several books, including the acclaimed The Perfect Vehicle, a book about women and motorbikes, which is published by Granta Books. She lives in New York.


Dark Horses And Black Beauties

Melissa Holbrook Pierson

Dark Horses and Black Beauties is an exploration of the fascination and romance of horses. The author discusses the obsession with tackle and boots, the willingness to get dirty, to live with manure and hay, and to polish leather until it shines. She remembers the enthusiasm with which young girls read detailed treatises on equine behaviour. She recalls the burgeoning collections of combs, brushes and hats. The book is also extraordinary and tragic history of the horse’s domestication by humans. For thousands of years, until the close of the Second World War, horses died by the million in military encounters and harsh agricultural work. The author reminds us that it has been less than a century since commerce, travel and war relied on the muscles and bones of horses. This is a book written in praise of a powerful and gentle creature.