“REMAINS A CLASSIC… WITH ITS WEALTH OF HISTORICAL DETAIL”: ILLUSTRATED LIMITED LARGE-PAPER FIRST EDITION OF THE BADMINTON LIBRARY’S VOLUME ON BOATING, BY ACCLAIMED OARSMAN WALTER WOODGATE
WOODGATE, W.B. Boating. London: Longmans, Green, 1888. Large octavo, original three-quarter navy morocco gilt rebacked, top edges gilt, uncut. $750.
Limited large paper first edition, number 190 of only 250 copies, of this generously illustrated guide to “scientific oarsmanship,” written by renowned rower Walter Bradford Woodgate.
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). "For more than half a century [Walter Bradford] Woodgate was the outstanding figure on the upper Thames… Woodgate was not only a great oarsman, but his knowledge of the sport was unsurpassed and it covered almost a century of rowing: he entered the rowing world soon enough to meet the giants of its early days… and he was present at Henley regatta in 1920. His textbook, Oars and Sculls, and How to Use Them (1875), remains a classic, as does his Boating (1888)"—the present volume—"with its wealth of historical detail" (DNB). With 10 full-page plates and numerous in-text illustrations. Front boards gilt-stamped with Beaufort coat of arms. Cox, Sporting in Britain 1708.
Light foxing to plates, occasionally to text; frontispiece and first few gatherings with minor marginal dampstaining. Light expert restoration to handsome binding.