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Martin Sheridan: Olympics hero & US athlete extraordinaire

6th April 2017

Martin Sheridan’s obituary in the New York Times described him as ‘one of the greatest athletes the United States has ever known’. Martin Sheridan was actually born and brought up in County Mayo, Ireland. The USA was very quick – and sensible – to claim him  as one of their own, soon after he stepped […]

John Wisden, founder of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack

16th March 2017

John Wisden founded the most iconic cricket annual in 1864: the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack. Its publication is eagerly awaited every year. Steeped in Wisdens as we are, we thought we’d take a closer look at the man himself. John Wisden was born in Brighton in 1826. His father died when he was a boy and Wisden […]

2017 Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack

16th February 2017

Cricket History

Cricket History

Cricket has a long history dating back to the 17th century. The cricket books in this section are general cricket history books, as well as those dedicated to histories of specific countries, counties and clubs. Many are rare and evocative gems of sports memorabilia. For example, one of our copies of 'Felix on the Bat' was published in 1855, a third edition of the classic early cricket instructional book by renowned Kent and All England batsman, Nicholas Wanostrocht (known as Felix). The book is special in itself but this particular edition of this classic cricket book contained two letters.

One of the letters was from Douglas Jardine, the captain of the England's "Bodyline" team in Australia in 1932-33, the other from his father, M.R. Jardine, both dated 1934. In the latter, M R Jardine thanks the sender of this book, a Mr Gillam - "'How very kind of you to send Douglas that delightful old Classic. I am sure he will treasure it; it must be very rare ... he is on his way home after honey-mooning in Tanganyika ..." He continues to discuss various aspects of the book. The other letter, from Douglas Jardine, is a simple thank-you note, again to Mr Gillam: "I've got back from East Africa last week and on arrival here I found Felix on the Bat awaiting me ... I am look forward to browsing on it of a winter's evening even though I never expected to own a copy of my own ..." Both letters in themselves are special items of signed cricket memorabilia but the cricket book alone is both a classic bit of cricket instructional history and a cracking read.

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