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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.
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CARDUS, Neville (Sir John Frederick Neville), 1888-1975 : CRICKET.
London : Longmans, Green & Co., 1930. First edition. A magisterial collection of nine essays in the English Heritage series – Cardus on the laws and evolutions; the spirit of the game; the Champion (W. G. Grace); overseas cricket and cricketers; the past and present, etc. “There can be no summer in this land without cricket”. With an introduction by J. C. Squire – “Mr. Cardus, I think, expounds more eloquently than before the Doctrine of Cricket as a Fine Art – a peculiarly English Fine Art, and one which gives a fine aesthetic pleasure to multitudes who have never heard the word aesthetic and would be frightened if they did hear it”.
HOYLE, Edmond, 1672-1769 : HOYLE’S GAMES IMPROVED; BEING PRACTICAL TREATISES ON WHIST, QUADRILLE, PIQUET, CHESS, BACK-GAMMON, DRAUGHTS, CRICKET, TENNIS, QUINZE, HAZARD, LANSQUENET, BILLIARDS, AND GOFF OR GOLF ...
London : for J. F. & C. Rivington ; T. Payne & Son ; R. Baldwin and others, 1790. An important eighteenth-century edition of Hoyle, revised by Charles Jones – and including for the first time a section on “Goff, or Golf” – “Light Balls are used when playing with the wind, and heavy ones against it”. Although compressed into the last few pages of the book, this would appear to be the first extended description of golf in any work of this kind. Also included are sections on cricket (the Star and Garter Rules of 1774), tennis (“a net hangs across the middle”), billiards, etc., as well as whist, chess, backgammon, etc.
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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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