Lot 90

PYCROFT, James (1813-95).  The Cricket-Field or the History and the Science of the Game of Cricket … Fourth Edition. London: Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts, 1862. 8vo. Half title, illustrations, one-page of publisher’s advertisements as a frontispiece and 2-pages of advertisements at the end (some light browning and staining). Original textured green cloth by Edmonds & Remnant with the figure of a batsman stamped in gilt on the upper cover (re-backed in modern red cloth lettered in gilt, some staining, corners frayed, bumped). Provenance: THOMAS BLOFELD (armorial bookplate). First published in 1851, this is one of the earliest books dedicated to the subject of “our National Game”, a term whose use is amongst the earliest recorded in the preface to the first edition (reprinted in the present edition). The author was a pioneer in promoting the “Englishness” of cricket, his pronouncements occasionally verging on the light-heartedly xenophobic. “Still the game is essentially Anglo-Saxon. Foreigners have rarely, very rarely, imitated us. The English settlers and residents everywhere play: but of no single Cricket club have we ever heard dieted either with frogs, sour crout [sic], or macaroni” (pp. 19-20). cf. Padwick 394. "Another of my father's books which I seem to remember having thrust on me as a child when I found it infinitely boring. But as I grew older, both the book and me came into our own and it has been a good friend. Fun to read" (H.B.).

Estimate: £70-£100