“A CRACK TO SQUARE-LEG OFF A HALF-VOLLEY JUST OUTSIDE THE LEGS”: ILLUSTRATED LIMITED LARGE-PAPER FIRST EDITION OF THE BADMINTON LIBRARY’S VOLUME ON CRICKET
(SPORT) STEEL, A.G. and LYTTELTON, R.H. Cricket. London: Longmans, Green, 1888. Large octavo, original three-quarter navy morocco gilt rebacked, top edge gilt, uncut. $950.
Limited large paper first edition, number 219 of only 250 copies, of this generously illustrated guide to that “great, glorious and unsurpassable,” quintessentially British game of cricket.
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 chapters on cricket's history, batting and bowling, captains and umpires, cricket in Australia, "The University Cricket Match," "Cricket Reform" and more. Illustrated with 11 full-page engraved plates and numerous in-text woodcuts. Front board gilt-stamped with Beaufort coat of arms.
Occasional light foxing and minor creasing. Binding with light expert restoration. Extremely good condition.