HUNTING SCRAPS – the Hunting Diary of Charles James Cropper by Sir James Cropper

Published by Ellergreen Press

ISBN 0-9549191-04

Charles James Cropper was a natural draughtsman who had a voracious love of drawing. He was a fine illustrator and his remarkable talent is for all to see in the 200-plus pages of this weighty tome.

Hunting Scraps is a vivid record in pen, ink and watercolours, of all aspects of the hunt, captioned with witty and pithy prose to create a visual diary of country pursuits and the people who took part.

Between 1877-1924, industrialist Charles – whose father James founded the Cropper papermaking business - captured his exploits on the hunting field, which have been carefully and cleverly collated by record keeper, par excellence, Sir James Cropper and his son Mark, creating both art book and fascinating piece of social history.

Hunting Scraps was runner up in this year’s Lakeland Book of the Year and was awarded the David Winkworth Prize for Illustration and Presentation.

Most of the illustrations are skilfully uncomplicated, simple, and earthy.

Some are cartoon-like, many laced with humour, others dramatic.

I particularly liked the endearing image of Charles’ horse Victor.

As for artistic merit, for me, Charles’ creative gift is no more apparent and engaging than in his portrait of his father in 1883, portraying a very distinguished gentleman indeed; actually, a work worthy of a place in any exhibition.

Adrian Mullen