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The Hooden Horse: An East Kent Christmas Custom

Maylam, Percy [of Canterbury]


(Book #ID 44109)

Published Privately by the Author First Edition 1909. 1909.

First edition hard back binding in original very dark green buckram covers, plain gilt lettering to the spine. Quarto 9˝'' x 8'' xvi, 124 printed pages of text. Printed on Canterbury note paper with Canterbury Cathedral watermark and text to each leaf. Seven full-page single sided monochrome plates printed on high quality strong rag paper, capable of taking a process block illustration on the paper itself without the intervention of any gelatinous coating. 1 of 303 copies privately printed. List of subscribers. Hoodening is an East Kent winter custom dating back many centuries. A new play is written each year in rhyming couplets by one of the troupe, and references to recent events are included, although the setting is based on a ploughing team from the 19th Century. Over the last few years numerous hoodening groups have appeared in Kent. Most of these appear to be derived from Morris teams; some focus on singing, others on theatre. There is no clear etymology for the words ''hooden'' or ''hoodening''. The Oxford English Dictionary entry is quite brief, but other theories include ''hooded, ''hide'' [as in animal skin or as in concealment] and ''hoaden'' [a type of cloth]. There is a chance that it may have come from ''Woden'' [the Norse god], as he had a famous horse and this has evidently influenced the similar custom of the Schimmelreiter. Small ink name to the top of the front free end paper, light surface rubbing to the fore edge of the upper and lower boards, no dust wrapper as published. Member of the P.B.F.A.

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