“THE RUSH AND STRUGGLE OF THE RUDE AND MANLY GAME”
(SPORT) SHEARMAN, Montague. Athletics and Football. London: Longmans, Green, 1887. Large octavo, original three-quarter navy morocco gilt rebacked, top edge gilt, uncut. $750.
Limited large paper first edition, one of only 250 copies, of this generously illustrated guide to track and field events and rugby.
Henry Somerset, eighth Duke of Beaufort, conceived of the "Badminton Library" (named after his principal country house, not the game) as a comprehensive series of instructional guidebooks, presenting history, rules and strategic hints for pastimes popular among Victorian England's aristocracy. Each chapter boasts expert commentary, accompanied by copious pictures and drawings. Published between 1885 and 1920, "the books provide a rich source of information on the growth and development of sport during the late 19th century in Britain, and are highly sought after by collectors" (Nauright & Parrish, Sports Around the World, 33). This volume includes information about sprinting and long-distance running, hurdles, shot-putting, and other field events, as well as several chapters devoted to rugby ("football"), "not only the oldest and the most characteristic, but the most essentially popular sport of England." With 6 plates and numerous in-text illustrations. Although this copy clearly belongs to the deluxe limited large paper edition (as opposed to the trade and deluxe editions, both of which were smaller octavo editions), it is without its limitation leaf. Without half title. Front board gilt-stamped with Beaufort coat of arms.
Occasional light foxing, minor marginal embrowning. Binding with light expert restoration. Extremely good condition.