This well-researched book offers a look at the life of the great French general, Alexis-Francois L’Hotte and includes Hilda Nelson’s complete translation of his much-quoted Questions Equestres, here entitled Equestrian Questions.
Alexis-François L’Hotte (1825-1904) was sent to the Ecole de Cavalerie at Saumur to pursue his equestrian talent. He became the pupil of both François Baucher and comte d’Aure. He returned to Saint-Cyr as commandant of the reopened cavalry section. In 1864 he became écuyer en chef of the Ecole de Cavalerie. In 1875 he returned to Saumur as commandant of the Ecole de Cavalerie there. He was considered by all to be the most outstanding écuyer of the period. It was on his personal horses that L’Hotte practiced the teachings of Baucher. But as écuyer en chef and commandant at Saumur, he was obliged to follow the teachings and rules of a military establishment. In this respect he was more in the d’ Auriste idiom, practicing primarily exterior and military equitation. It was his quest to produce answers to the equestrian challenges that he faced that prompted his writing of Questions équestres where he provides complete, precise, and definitive answers.
Hilda Nelson was Professor Emeritus of French Literature and Civilization at San Diego State University in Southern California. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is the author of books and articles on romanticism, dada, and surrealism, and translated Antoine de Pluvinel’s classic on horsemanship, The Maneige Royal, and authored François Baucher, The Man and his Method, and Great Horsewomen of the Nineteenth Century in the Circus. She translated 30 Years with Master Nuno Oliveira by Michel Henriquet; all books are published by Xenophon Press.