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BOX, Charles, 1806-1890 : THE ENGLISH GAME OF CRICKET: COMPRISING A DIGEST OF ITS ORIGIN, CHARACTER, HISTORY, AND PROGRESS, TOGETHER WITH AN EXPOSITION OF ITS LAWS AND LANGUAGE.
London : “The Field”, 1877. First edition. A presentation copy, inscribed, signed and dated (30th June 1877) by the author to Samuel Hoare (1841-1915), later Sir Samuel Hoare M.P., Harrow and Trinity (Cambridge), banker, parliamentarian and keen amateur cricketer with the Quidnuncs. One of the monuments of cricket literature – a highly influential account which in attempting to define, perhaps for the first time, the quintessential Englishness of cricket, contrived to make it not just a game, but a lasting repository of high-minded Victorian ideals and the ultimate sporting extension of a deeply-imbued sense of national identity. Box takes in turn the origins of ball-games; the Dark and Middle Ages; progress and development; rising popularity; the moral, social and physical attributes; chapters on each of the major counties; the public schools; the eastern counties; intercolonial matches (in North America and Australia); school and village cricket; curiosities; the grounds; the laws; the poems, songs and ballads; a glossary, and a postscript on Shakespeare and cricket.
CARDUS, Neville (Sir John Frederick Neville), 1888-1975 : DAYS IN THE SUN : A CRICKETER’S JOURNAL.
London : Grant Richards, 1924. First edition. “A rather freely compiled journal of happy experiences that have come my way” – forty or so exquisite essays and articles – the immortal Cardus on cricket grounds and their characters, on Frank Woolley, on J. T. Tyldesley, on A. W. Carr, on Spofforth, on fashions in the game, on J. W. Hearne, on Douglas, on Chapman, on Hendren, on George Gunn, on Herbert Strudwick, and on much else besides. “This is far and away the best book on cricket that has been published for years” (Western Mail, 21st August 1924).
GRACE, W.G. (William Gilbert), 1848-1915 : CRICKETING REMINISCENCES AND PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS.
London : James Bowden, 1899. First edition. An attractively illustrated and very full account of the career of the great man – to some extent ghost-written by Arthur Porritt (1872-1947) – from early recollections to decade-by-decade chapters on the 1860s, 1870s, 1880s, and 1890s, with further individual chapters on early tours in Canada, the United States, and Australia, as well as thoughts on his contemporaries, hints to young cricketers, a statistical history of cricket, the laws of the game, etc. “With such a career behind him Dr. Grace’s pen could no more help pouring forth interesting matter than his bat at one time could help knocking up centuries ... constitutes in a way a history of modern cricket ... the stories are as innumerable as they are good” (Pall Mall Gazette).
JORDAN, B. : CRICKET : A CONCISE GUIDE FOR ENTHUSIAST AND NOVICE.
London : Universal Publications, . First edition. A concise and sensible guide, with chapters on the game itself; bowling; fielding; batting; captaincy; umpiring; scoring; equipment; rules and regulations; jargon, etc.
RAVEN, Simon (Simon Arthur Nöel), 1927-2001 : SHADOWS ON THE GRASS.
London : Blond & Briggs, (1982). First edition. Raven’s hilarious cricketing reminiscences – cricket at Charterhouse, Cambridge, Bangalore, Kenya, Aden and Corfu – feuds, scandals, intrigues, liaisons, loves, hates, tragedies, comedies, farces – “from the virtuous to the vicious, from the clever and beautiful to the dreamy and debased”.
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