Nearly a decade of fiercely divisive debate over foxhunting in Britain culminated with passage of the Hunting with Dogs Act of 2004. But the battle over the future of hunting is not yet resolved, and polarizing right-or-wrong debates continue undiminished. This lively book recounts the long and colorful history of hunting in Britain and offers a fresh perspective on today's conflicts. Since William the Conqueror declared wild animals royal property and thereby provoked a burning hatred among his subjects, hunting of all kinds has been a source of social conflict in Britain. The sport is deeply entwined with questions of land and power, class divisions, and social mores. Blood Sport explores these large themes, brings them alive with surprising details and vignettes, and considers how hunting traditions have affected British national identity. Bringing the discussion fully up to date, the book concludes with a thought-provoking critique of current hunting controversies.