Newsletter 69 - March 2010
Back to Home Page
News Items
Newsletter Archive
Real Tennis Books
Links of Interest
Mailing List
Contact Us
Search this website




The catalyst for writing this newsletter is the acquisition of around 1000 tennis books from two large collections in February. The house is cluttered with piles of books wherever you look, but I am well on the way to assessing and cataloguing them. As one of the collections was one I had supplied over more than 20 years, I have been able to welcome back some old and rare friends. I always get a bit emotional when a great and rare title leaves me.

Having said that, I have still managed to turn down half a dozen lesser collections as they lacked any theme or quality. As ever books in the best condition are most important to me. However, if you get to The Queen’s Club or Eastbourne in June, there will be huge opportunities for you to pick up many 100s of tennis books at £1 each.

The first London Tennis Show will be held from Friday 30 April to Sunday 2 May at the London Docklands ExCel Centre in conjunction with the London Golf Show. For three days the Centre will be home to everything tennis, showcasing the entire spectrum of the sport under one roof and offering a great day out for tennis enthusiasts. It is heartily endorsed by the LTA. To get a free entry to the show, visit

and register before April 17th. Visitors to the tennis show will also get a free entry to the London Golf Show.


Once again I will be present at all three events.

Monday 7 June to Sunday 13 June: The Aegon Men’s International Lawn Tennis Championships at The Queen’s Club

Sunday 13 June to Saturday 19 June: The Aegon Ladies’ International Lawn Tennis Championships at Devonshire Park, Eastbourne

Monday 21 June to Sunday 4th July: The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club


*** Colin Foster Long (born 23 Mar 1918; died 8 Nov 2009). Long was for many years a commentator on Australia’s Channel Seven but previously he had been a top doubles tennis player, having reached the final of the Australian Open in 1939, losing to Quist and Bromwich. In 1946 he started to play Davis Cup. His finest result was at Forest Hills when he and Bromwich beat Kramer and Schroeder.

*** Alastair Bradley Martin (born 11 Mar 1915; died 12 Jan 2010). Won the British Amateur Real Tennis title in 1950, the US Open Court Tennis title in 1951, as well as many doubles titles. Challenged Pierre Etchebaster for his world title in 1950 (lost 0 sets to 7) and in 1952 (lost 2 sets to 7). He was a founder and board member of the USCTA, and founder and president of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

*** Frank von Renslaar Phelps (born 16 Dec 1917; died 4 Jan 2010). I first met Frank (by mail) over 20 years ago when he started to buy books from me. He was a renowned collector of tennis and baseball books, magazines and annuals, and amassed a huge knowledge of information, into which many of us tapped. He and Gordy Sabine co-authored “The Tennis Bibliography 1874-2000”, a massive work.

*** Ronald John Presley (born 19 Oct 1931; died 9 Dec 2009). Presley was Chairman of the Lawn Tennis Association in the late 1980s, during which time he had the great pleasure of welcoming HM The Queen to The Queen’s Club when she toured the LTA’s Centenary exhibition; he was entirely instrumental in persuading me to stage my first tennis books exhibition at that memorable occasion. He was later Chairman of the Wimbledon Museum committee and very knowledgeable on such matters. He became Chief Executive of Edward Erdman, chartered surveyors. I attended his crowded memorial service on 24th February.

*** William Maxwell Robertson (born 28 Aug 1915; died 20 Nov 2009). Max was the doyen of BBC Radio tennis commentators having broadcast for some 40 years. His rapid-fire voice could keep up with the play on court at a time when TV was not a universal asset in people’s homes. He was also a renowned ceramic expert and often appeared on BBC TV over many years as an antiques pundit.

*** Jean Barbara Walker-Smith (born 17 March 1924; died 22 February 2010). Jean (nee Bridger) was a stalwart lawn tennis player who was a well known competitor in British events in the late 1940s and early 1950s. She won the singles variously at Eastbourne, Surbiton, Bournemouth, Tally Ho!, and Guildford; and she played Wightman Cup in 1949, 1951, and 1952. At Wimbledon, she played from 1947 to 1952, reached the last 8 in 1949, and was seeded 6 in 1952.

pp is pages; hb is hardback; dw is dust-wrapper; pb is paperback; 12mo (c12cm x c18cm); 8vo (c15cm x c21cm); 4to (c21cm x c28cm); AEG is “all pages-edges gilt”; vg is very good condition. I try very hard to describe any faults, and generally (not quite always) all books with faults are discarded. Books are subject to postage costs as incurred.

I have never known a year like 2009 in which so many important tennis titles have been published. There have been some pretty featureless years but 2009 stands out like a beacon for collectors of tennis titles. I have already listed all of these new titles either on paper or electronically and will not take up valuable space here, but every one of these titles can be seen on the news pages.. All are still in stock and all will feature at The Queen’s Club and Eastbourne.

Items 001 & 002 Items 003 & 049

There are I think two types of tennis professional. The first is the qualified tennis coach whose income comes at tennis clubs from teaching players how to become better players. The second is the touring professional tennis player whose income comes from sponsorships, endorsements, appearance money, and prize winnings. Although there is no shortage of titles on open tennis and the matches, very little exists specifically on the Professionals. Here are two such titles:

001: “A History of Professional Tennis 1919-1984” by A.E. “Ted” Millman; small 8vo pb with 32 pp. Major Ted was a larger than life character who spent almost his entire life as a squash and tennis teaching professional. He touches on the touring professionals with whom he played (Tilden, Perry) but this book mainly describes the teaching side of the tennis professional’s life. £20

002: “The History of Professional Tennis” by Joe McCauley; small 8vo pb with 262 pp. This was a labour of love by McCauley who not only wrote it but he also published it in 2000 in a small run of 500 copies. McCauley was a top writer with World Tennis and followed the tour for many years. He starts with the 1920s professional movement with Tilden etc., and describes all the stages of the development of the tour through Perry, Vines, Kramer, Gonzales, Rosewall, Hoad and Laver until the Open game arrived. £35


003: “Fifty Years of Lawn Tennis” by T.H. Oyler; 1st edition of 1925 in small 8vo hb with 94 pp. Oyler was there when lawn tennis started and played it from the beginning. He became a passionate student of the game and its leading exponents, so his account of those early days must be taken very seriously. He travelled widely in Europe, no mean feat in those days, playing in tournaments and talking with the pioneer players. He was also an experienced tournament referee. This little but important book is signed by the author. £150

Items 011 & 013 Items 014 & 017


Lawn Tennis as we know it was invented in 1874; so from the mid 1970s, we started to see a steady flow of lawn tennis club centenary publications of varying sizes and quality. So far I have details of 207 such titles on my database, which now contains in excess of 6000 racket sports titles. This list details a good selection of club histories in the UK and elsewhere in the world. These books mainly contain early club history, lots of photos and club records of event winners.

Item 008
004: “A Celebration 100 Framlingham (Saxmundham) Championships 1993 Centenary…”; tall 4to pb with 32 pp. Another very old lawn tennis championships and club celebrate their first 100 years. The event was an important feature on the British circuit. £15

005: “A Century of Queensland Tennis 1888-1988”; 4to pictorial boards with 90 pp. History of Australian state tennis from where all-time great Rod Laver, Roy Emerson and Wendy Turnbull came. £15

006: “Amazing Grace: The Story of the Grace Park Lawn Tennis Club 1889-1989” by Joseph Johnson; 4to hb/dw with 210 pp. One of Melbourne’s iconic clubs from where such players as Harry Hopman, Frank Sedgman, Pat Cash, and Margaret Court came. This is an extensive study and it is signed by the author. £15

007: “Country Cracks The Story of N.S.W. Country Tennis” by Ron McLean; 4to hb/dw with 144 pp. Published in 1984, this is the history of a very strong tennis state in Australia, which produced Neale Fraser, John Newcombe, Tony Roche, Bob Hewitt, and Evonne Goolagong. (signed by the author) £15

008: “Ein Jahrhundert Tennis in Berlin 100 Jahre Lawn-Tennis-Turnier-Club Rot-Weiss Berlin” by Wolfgang A. Hofer; 4to hb/dw with 243 pp. Published in 1996, here is the history of Germany’s premier tennis club where every one of the world’s top players has competed. It is brilliantly illustrated; this copy has been dedicated to former Wimbledon chairman, Buzzer Hadingham . £50

009: “Northumberland Lawn Tennis Association Centenary Handbook 1985”; small 8vo pb with 72 pp. A thorough analysis of the many age groups of tennis players in that county with many lists of champions. £10

010: “One Hundred Sporting Summers: A Celebration of Bilston Lawn Tennis Club’s Centenary…” by Robert Everitt; broad 8vo hb/dw with 186 pp. Written by a true enthusiast for everything Bilston, Bob’s description of the club is a master-class. £15

011: “Roller Skates and Rackets: The Story of Devonshire Park and Tennis in Eastbourne”; small 8vo pb with 80 pp. Certainly the venue for one of the oldest established lawn tennis tournaments and where Fred Perry first played, the park is one of the most charming tennis sites in the UK. I have exhibited there for every one of the last 22 years. £10

Item 012
012: “Royal South Yarra Lawn Tennis Club 100 Years in Australian Tennis” by Richard Yallop; large 8vo hb/dw with 148 pp published in 1984, this is the story of one of Melbourne’s elite tennis clubs. It produced Norman Brookes, Pat O’Hara Wood, and the lovely Judy Tegart/Dalton. £15

013: “Sparkhill Tennis Club The First Hundred Years 1889-1989”; small 8vo pb with 19 pp. A small Birmingham (UK) tennis club, typical of the backbone of such members’ clubs which form the grass-roots of British lawn tennis. £10

014: “The Edgbaston Priory Club Centenary Year 1875-1975”; small 8vo pb with 12 pp. Edgbaston Priory is certainly the leading lawn tennis club in Birmingham (UK); it still hosts one of the oldest tennis tournaments in the calendar. £10

015: “The International Lawn Tennis Club of Great Britain”; 8vo pictorial boards with 168 pp. Founded by the great A. Wallis Myers in 1924, the IC fosters goodwill between tennis-playing nations in representative tours and matches. £10

016: “The Ladies’ Recreation Club 1883-1983”; large 8vo hb/dw with 40 pp. The story of a sports club in Hong Kong where lawn tennis was a very early attraction. £10

017: “The Seeds of Lawn Tennis” by W.G. Gibbons; small 8vo pb with 52 pp. The history of the very early days of Lawn Tennis where it was first played in Royal Leamington Spa back in 1874. Where is that missing first engraving? £10

018: “The West Side Tennis Club Story 60th Anniversary 1892-1952”; small 8vo hb with 46 pp. Written by Edward C. Potter, this is the story of the world famous Forest Hills complex, where the US Open was played for many years. In rare original glassine dw. £50

019: “Willingdon Sports Club 1917-1977” by Bertram Contractor; broad 4to hb with 54 pp. This little sports club is in Bombay (Mumbai now) and boasts a strong tennis section. Named after Lord Willingdon, it was to be the Willingdon Club but he took a not unreasonable exception to the likely initials, thus is became the Willingdon Sports Club! £20

020: “Wimbledon of the North: 100 Years at the Northern” by David Allaby; 8vo hb/dw with 183 pp. The great Manchester tennis club, venue for the famous championships which have been won by many of the world’s top players. £15

021: “Yardley Lawn Tennis Club Centenary 1884-1984” by David Dutton; 4to pb with 13 pp. A very small Birmingham (UK) tennis club and its 100 years of life. This is a slightly amateurish publication but it ably describes the club’s history. £10

022: “1876-1976 100 Jahre Tennis in Bad Homburg v.d.H.”; tall 4to pb with 24 pp. An important tennis club in Germany with a great history of producing good players, and which hosted a major annual international tennis championships. £15

Items 024 & 104 Items 054 & 057



My stock of annuals is in good form just now, so here is a list.
023: “Dawson’s International Lawn Tennis Almanac 1960 & 1961”; edited by C M Jones both 416 pp; 1960 rather worn, 1961 in vg condition. They filled the gap after the demise of the Dunlop Annuals, but it did not last. Excellent seasonal coverage. Each at £20

Item 034
024: “Lowe’s Lawn Tennis Annual 1932” edited by Sir Gordon Lowe, Bt.; small 8vo hb/dw with 490 pp. This copy is in its very rare dust-wrapper; Lowe’s Annuals were classics of their kind with full reports and player biographies of the highest quality. £75

025: “Prudential Tennis Annual 1979” edited by John Haylett; small 8vo pb with 192 pp. It ran for just one year under the Prudential banner; this is strictly a British orientated annual with many event reports and lengthy UK player biographies. £15

026: “The Tennis Guide of the Virginia Slims Circuit” compiled by Neil Amdur; very small pb with 96 pp. The 5th edition of the guide for the fledgling women’s tour listing just 11 women, all iconic names then and still today. Describes the format of the tour with its rules and regulations (no player biogs). Included are details of the WCT Men’s circuit. This copy is rather worn; it is my first copy. £25

027: “The World’s Leading Players 1954” compiled by Edward C. Potter; tall 8vo pb with 58 pp. The first of a short series of player biography books which details the leading 83 men and 43 women of the period. These short run annuals are rare outside the USA. £25

028: “World of Tennis Annuals 1971 to 2001”; edited by John Barrett but now sadly discontinued. These annuals are all 8vo pb with c500 pp containing season reviews, Davis Cup & Grand Slam reports and draws, ranking lists, player biogs, events results, articles of tennis interest by great tennis names and more. These are much collected and I can offer every year from 1971 to 2001. Each at £10


Vanity Fair magazine is most famous for the huge range of “Famous Men” chromolithographs it published at the end of the 19th and the start of the 20th centuries. Included amongst the large number of judges, politicians and other worthies was a range of sportsmen and amongst those there were five tennis players.

I am able to offer an example of each of those five, each nicely framed and glazed (now ready to hang on a wall) from a collection that I recently bought. Whilst not quite identical in size, these items measure externally about 39cm x 53cm; image size about 23cm x 37cm.

029: “Babe” being Mr. A.W. Gore, Wimbledon champion in 1901, 1908 & 1909. (Vanity Fair Supplement 2330). £95

030: “Thrice Champion” being H.L. Doherty, Wimbledon champion 1902, 1903, 1904. Dated September 1st 1904. £95

031: “Michael Michailovitch” being a Russian Prince and very good player. Dated January 4 1894. £95

032: “In his lighter moments” being Dr. Ingram, Bishop of London, a keen player. (Vanity Fair Supplement 2273) £95

033: “Tennis” being Lord Wimborne, owner of Canford House where he had a Real Tennis court. Dated September 23 1882. £95


The two collections that I mentioned earlier contained a number of Real Tennis titles, mostly from the latter part of the 20th century, and I am therefore able to offer these and others for sale at more attractive prices than usual. This presents a major opportunity to pick up real tennis titles for your collection.

Item 039
I will retain these prices throughout The Queen’s Club lawn tennis week, whilst my stocks last. I will also give a 10% discount on any order over £200 until 30th June. To save space, the descriptions here are short. Images and much fuller descriptions are immediately available. By the way, please note that most of these titles were printed in runs of 500 or fewer copies.

034: “Annals of Tennis (The)” by Julian Marshall; facsimile edition of 1973 in small 4to green and gilt boards with 226 pp. Marshall’s book was the major English language book on Tennis in the 19th century and is frequently quoted. This copy is copiously inscribed internally at the time of Howard Angus’s (unsuccessful….sorry Howard!) challenge with Jimmy Bostwick in 1974. It is personally dedicated to John Tayleur, a great Tennis enthusiast by Jimmy (Bostwick), Howard (Angus) and Norwood (Cripps). £200

035: “Art of the Tennis-Racket Maker and of Tennis (The)” by Alexandre de Garsault; 1st English language edition of 1938 in small 4to hb with 45 pp & 5 engravings. Originally in French from 1767, to read this text today, you would hardly notice major changes in the game as it was then, even to spinning the racket to decide server. This edition is in a run of 250 copies specially printed in 1938 for the members of the Royal Tennis Court at Hampton Court Palace. £225

036: “Art of the Tennis-Racket-Maker and of Tennis (The)” by Alexandre de Garsault; facsimile reprint (1977) of the 1938 edition in similar format in red card slip-case. This one was printed in a numbered run of 750 copies. £95

037: “Athletic Sports: Tennis, Rackets and Other Ball Games” in the British Sports and Sportsmen series c1933 in massive elephant folio size with 421 pp in plush red leather boards internally marbled, AEG in an edition of 1000 numbered copies. The largest book I stock describes the histories of all the racket sports plus Croquet, the Olympics and Highland Sports. £150

038: “Bandies of Fortune (The): Perceptions of Real Tennis from Medieval to Modern Times” by Geoffrey Hiller; in small 8vo hb/dw with 196 pp in an edition of 400 copies. Geoff examines how Tennis has been dealt with in literature across the centuries. £35

039: “Chase Down-Under (A): a history of royal tennis in Australia” by Michael P. Garnett; 1999 large 8vo pictorial hb with 502 pp in an edition of 320 copies. Whereas his earlier book dealt mostly with the RMTC, this title covers the entire Australian Royal Tennis scene from its earliest times in the 19th century onwards. In 9 parts he examines every aspect of ball play where it concerns Rackets, Fives and eventually Royal Tennis. This book also contains an excellent bibliography of Tennis titles. £45

Item 051
040: “Disturb’d with Chaces: Tennis Courts, Celebrities and Scandals of Yesteryear” by David Best and Brian Rich; large 4to hb/dw with 240 pp. In an edition of 300 copies (nearly all sold), this is the latest Tennis title from 2009 wherein the authors have painstakingly searched for previously untold or unknown anecdotes and facts about this great game; full of marvellous discoveries. £25

041: “First Beautiful Game (The): Stories of Obsession in Real Tennis” by Roman Krznaric; 1st 8vo pb edition of 2006 with 181 pp in an edition of 650 copies. The author, a top player himself, examines why the people who play do play it, their goals and foibles, the odd things that have occurred during play and the lessons that some of these players have learned about themselves. £25

042: “Fred Covey World Champion of Tennis” edited by Neil Covey in 1994; large 4to hb/dw with 125 pp in an edition of 100 copies. Covey was a great Tennis player who eventually became World Champion. He was professional at Crabbet Park, now no longer standing. This book contains a large range of Fred’s press cuttings from national newspapers of the period 1902 to 1928. £65

043: “From Pillar to Post: Chapters on the History of Real Tennis” edited by Geoff Hiller; in 8vo pictorial boards with 161 pp in an edition of 400 copies. Based on several lectures given at the Royal Melbourne Tennis Club about great players of yesteryear. £40

044: “History of the Royal Game of Tennis (A)” by Albert de Luze, English translation of 1979 by Richard Hamilton in large 4to hb/dw with 395 pp in blue card slip-case in an edition of 500 numbered copies. A spectacular book by any description, here is de Luze’s marvellous book from 1933 wherein he describes in great detail the state of the game especially in France as to history and origins, the many courts both in France and elsewhere, much on coaching and technique, and finally lists of the great players and paumiers. £150

045: “History of Royal Tennis in Australia (A)” by Michael P Garnett; 1st edition of 1983 in 8vo hb/dw with 224 pp. This is mostly the official history of Royal Tennis at the Royal Melbourne Tennis Club in its two sites, but the early days of the Australian game are described, as is the contribution to the growth of the game there by the great teaching professionals of the 19th and 20th centuries. This copy has a small portion (1.5cm x 5cm) cut from the corner of the front end paper. £35

046: “History of Tennis (A)” by E.B. Noel & J.O.M. Clark; 1st edition of 1924 in 2 large 4to volumes of 281 pp & 299 pp. Certainly the most celebrated study of Tennis since Marshall’s “Annals of Tennis” of 1878, and it reigned supreme until Aberdare’s work in 1980. It is the most thorough work on Tennis as far as the British game goes, covering history, Tennis in Europe and the USA, the championships, the universities, literature, the laws, the courts and implements, remarkable feats, and handicapping. Contains a detailed dimensional chart of all British courts as at 1924. NOTE: 800 sets were printed; later about 430 sets were pulped so this is a run of c375 sets. £750

047: “History of Tennis (A)” by E.B. Noel & J.O.M. Clark; facsimile reprint of 1991 of 2 volumes now in one large 4to volume with 587 pp. Originally published in 1924, (see above) this reprint was designed to bring the marvellous texts and history to a wider audience. £95

048: “History of the Leamington Tennis Court Club 1846-1996 (The)” by Charles Wade; de luxe edition of 60 copies of 1996 in 8vo hb/dw with 233 pp, AEG. The foundation and development of the oldest members’ Tennis club in the UK. Signed by the author. £200

Item 052
049: “How to Make the Real Tennis Ball from Core to Cover” by Hamilton & Hobson; small 12mo in pb with 27 pp. The professional’s manual describing in great detail the fine art of making the Real Tennis ball, still done as it was 100s of years ago! £50

050: “J.T. Faber Book of Tennis & Rackets (The)” by Lord Aberdare; updated edition of 2001 in large 4to hb in luxurious green leather externally gilt in an edition of 150 copies signed by the author. AEG with 415 pp; in a green card slip-case. Easily the leading title on Tennis and Rackets of the last 50 years or more. History, club reports, and championship records, all are here and much more. £300

051: “J.T. Faber Book of Tennis & Rackets (The)” by Lord Aberdare; as above but the standard edition. Included with both editions is James Bruce’s 38 page update of all the record sections to include 2008 winners. A must-have for all collectors. £20

052: “Magnifique Histoire du Jeu de Paume (La)” by Albert de Luze; 1st French edition of 1933 in 4to pb with 413 pp in an edition of 1000 copies. For a description of contents, see 044 above. This original copy still has some uncut pages. £225

053: “Manchester Tennis and Racquet Club 1876-1980 (The): An Illustrated History” by Nigel Kenyon; 1980 in 8vo hb with 97 pp. A hard to find history on a club with a magnificent history which looks today almost as it did in 1876. I played there in February! £150

054: “Paume (La) et Le Lawn-Tennis” by E. de Nanteuil, G. de Saint-Clair and Delahaye; 1st French edition of 1898 rebound into small 8vo hb but with the original highly decorative paper covers bound in with the book with 422 pp. (front cover loose). Certainly one of the best French titles on racket sports with so much on Le Jeu de Paume, Lawn-Tennis and even les Jeux de Paume Basques. History, technique, the courts, the rackets & balls, the laws etc. are covered thoroughly, If you read French, all the better; a collector’s item! £700

055: “Queen’s Club Story 1886-1986 (The)” by Roy McKelvie; 1st edition of 1986 in 4to hb/dw with 306 pp. The very readable history of this greatest of rackets sports clubs in London, the home of both Real Tennis and Rackets. But many other sports have been played there over the 125 years of its life and these are very well illustrated in this book, in which I wrote much of the text on squash. £35

Item 061
056: “Rackets, Squash-Rackets, Tennis, Fives & Badminton” edited by Lord Aberdare in the Lonsdale Library series; de luxe library edition of 1933 in 8vo hb with 328 pp. A compendium of commentaries on the minor racket sports written by leading exponents of the day, containing history, technique, the laws, and much more, all well illustrated with photos and diagrams. Slightly foxed. £75

057: “Racquets, Tennis, And Squash” by Eustace Miles; 1st edition of 1902 in small 8vo hb with 336 pp. Probably the first squash coaching manual and one of the very rare books about Racquets (Rackets). He excelled at all three sports; his demonstrative photos with the ball suspended from the ceiling are to be seen! Also published in the USA, this book is one of the hardest to find. £150

058: “Royal Tennis Court (The)” by David Best; 1st standard edition of 2002 in large 4to hb/dw with 331 pp. Tennis has been played at Hampton Court since at least the 16th century. The many stages of development and redevelopment are accurately described here in a very readable manner. Best has winkled out all sorts of previously unknown facts about Tennis under Royal patronage. The court is much linked in with great and not so great moments in British history, all described here. It is profusely illustrated. £30

059: “Royal Tennis in Renaissance Italy” by Cees de Bondt; 1st edition of 2006 in large 8vo hb/dw with 290 pp. Cees, a Dutchman, is amongst the most knowledgeable men on the game, even though it is not played in the Netherlands. He has spent many years studying the history of the European game especially in medieval times and this book contains the sum of his massive historical research. £75

060: “Scaino on Tennis” by Antonio Scaino da Salo; large 4to hb/dw with 200pp. Originally in Italian in 1555, this is the second English translation presented in such a way as the Italian appears on the left side of the page and the English translation on the right side. The book is called “Trattato del Givoco della Palla”. It is the first book ever written about an athletic sport. £140

061: “Tennis: A Cultural History” by Heiner Gillmeister; 1st English edition of 1997; in 8vo hb/dw with 452 pp; in an edition of 1000 copies. Gillmeister, a renowned linguist and student of sports history, examines in great detail the genesis of ball and racket sports throughout Europe over many centuries. The breadth and results of his research are breathtaking; with many lovely illustrations. £95

062: “Tennis at Oxford” by Jeremy Potter; de luxe edition of 1994 in blue 8vo leatherette boards with 152 pp, AEG in an edition of 100 numbered copies. Tennis at Oxford dates back to 1450; Potter, a competent player himself, recounts the detailed history of the courts, the professionals and how the game developed in Oxford at the colleges over some 600 years. Signed by the author. £225

063: “Tennis at Oxford” by Jeremy Potter; as above but the standard edition of 1000 copies. Signed by the author. £30

Item 064 Item 069 Item 075

064: “Tennis: Its History and Its Description” by Eugene Chapus with an introductory by Edouard Fournier; 2006 in large 8vo leatherette boards gilt engraved with 94 pp in an edition of 350 copies. Its original is called “Le Jeu de Paume; Son Histoire et Sa Description” and is amongst the rarest of the great French titles on Tennis. This beautifully illustrated translation by Richard Travers expertly describes the state of Le Jeu de Paume/Tennis in the mid 19th century. The original can fetch upto £7000! £75

065: “Tennis Miscellany (A)” by Michael Garnett; 1st edition 2006 with 284 pp in large 8vo leatherette boards. This is the updated version of Garnett’s earlier books which describe the game of Tennis through the ages, with many anecdotes and history, much of it with an Australian slant, where Tennis is played passionately. This was published in a run of only 350 copies. £50

066: “Tennis: Origins and Mysteries” by Malcolm D. Whitman; 1st USA edition of 1932 in 8bo hb externally gilt engraved with 258 pp (450 copies). Always known as the purist’s book on Tennis, Whitman examines the various terms used in the game. The second half of the book is the first major bibliography of both Real/Court Tennis and Lawn Tennis, thus a great source of information. £695

067: “Tennis: The Development of the European Ball Game” by Roger Morgan; tall 4to hb/dw with 259 pp in a de luxe edition of 100 numbered copies, AEG with internally marbled boards. Morgan’s first study of the European game where he takes us back to the earliest days when the game may gave been played in the streets by boys rolling balls across the shop awnings. £150

068: “Tennis: The Development of the European Ball Game” by Roger Morgan; as 067 above but the standard edition. £50

069: “Treatise on the Royal Game of Tennis (A)” by Monsieur de Manevieux; English edition of 2004 (French edition of 1783 (called “Traite sur la Connoissance du Royal Jeu de Paume”) in green leatherette boards gilt engraved; 8vo with 97 pp in an edition of 300 copies. This is the major French work of the 18th century on Le Jeu de Paume now revealed to a wider audience, translated by Richard Travers. It is a rules book, coaching manual, with history of courts and Paumiers. £75

070: “Treatise on Tennis (A)” by Robert Lukin; first published in 1822, this is a facsimile reprint of 1991 in small 8vo red leatherette boards and similar card slip-case; 100 numbered library copies only with 120 pp. Such an important book as it is the first English language book entirely about Tennis. Lukin ran the Haymarket court; his book describes Tennis in the early 19th century. £175

071: “Trattato del Givoco della Palla” by Antonio Scaino da Salo; facsimile reprint of 1968 (1555 original) 12mo half leather and marbled boards in card slip-case with 317 pp in an edition of 500 copies. An exact copy of Scaino’s seminal work on Tennis. £200

072: “Tudor Tennis a Miscellany” by Roger Morgan; tall 4to hb/dw with 176 pp in a de luxe edition of 50 numbered copies; 2001, AEG. Morgan closely examines the period when Tennis was taking shape as the game we know today; very well illustrated. £150

073: “Tudor Tennis a Miscellany” by Roger Morgan; as above but the standard edition. £50

074: “Two Centuries of Real Tennis” by John Shneerson; standard edition of 1997 in 8vo hb/dw with 86 pp in an edition of 300 copies. The story of how the old Newmarket court, once used as the local car repair garage, was reconverted to a Tennis court. £50

075: “Willis Faber Book of Tennis & Rackets (The)” by Lord Aberdare; de luxe edition of 1980 in large 4to blue leatherette boards gilt engraved, AEG with internally marbled boards in an edition of 250 copies signed by the author. Aberdare’s original work now updated as at 050/051 above. Although superseded, this remains an important collector’s item on these two exciting racket sports. £250

076: “Willis Faber Book of Tennis & Rackets (The)” by Lord Aberdare; as 075 above but the standard edition. £20

077: “Winning Gallery: Court Tennis Matches and Memories (The)” by Allison Danzig; 1st USA edition of 1985 in 8vo green leatherette boards gilt engraved with 347 pp. Danzig, a most respected commentator on racket sports, writes his second major work on the subject in which he describes the history and growth of Tennis, and then talks in detail about the great players of the 20th century. He attended most of the World title challenge matches and his analysis of the players is marvellous to read. £95


I have recently acquired a small range of Racket Sports images, whose description now follows. I am often asked for such items but don’t often find myself in a position where I have examples. Each of the following is offered as a correct original and priced accordingly.

Item 081 Item 082

Note that all these items are nicely framed and glazed and ready to hang on the wall. The framing is very tastefully done in fairly ornate gilt wood. The first dimensions are external; the second dimensions are actual image size. I can deliver to The Queen’s Club, by parcel post, or buyers can collect. See also the earlier section on Vanity Fair Chromolithographs.

Item 079
078: “Games with the Ball…Tennis: The Court at Lord’s” from Henry Downes Miles’ massive book “British Field Sports” (1860). This court is no longer but it is an imposing view from the dedans of a men’s doubles. 40.5cm x 35cm; 25cm x 18.5cm. £95

079: “Jeu de Paume (Le)”; a fine full-coloured 20th century reproduction of an 18th century view of a tennis professional watching his customers at play on the court. The original was certainly published in France. 37cm x 47cm; 19cm x 30cm. £95

080: “Opening of the New Prince’s Club, Knightsbridge, by the Prince of Wales: The Tennis Match between Mr. S Lyttleton and C. Saunders” from The Graphic dated 25 May 1889; later hand-coloured showing the singles match as seen from the Grille. There is a large crowd in the various galleries. 40cm x 35cm; 22cm x 17.5cm. £95

081: “Prince of Wales (The) in the Tennis Court, Oriel-Street, Oxford” from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper dated August 18 1860. A view of the Prince receiving instruction from the Professional during a men’s doubles. 40.5cm x 35cm; 23cm x 16cm. £95


082: “Tennis Shoes” by Noel Streatfield; reprinted edition of 1947 in small 8vo hb (no dw) with 227 pp; illustrated by D.L. Mays. This is the iconic tennis novel for children (from the same author as Ballet Shoes). It tells the story of two children and their summer holidays at the local tennis club and by the seaside. There is a previous owner’s bookplate; title page signed “Noel Streatfield 1950”. £75

083: “Tennis Without Tears” by Susan Noel; 1st edition of 1947 in 8vo hb/dw with 128 pp. The daughter of E.B. Noel and winner of many squash championships in the 1930s, she played at Wimbledon with modest success. She penned several titles both on Lawn Tennis and on Squash Rackets and was certainly a lady ahead of her time. Signed internally “26/6/48 With best wishes Susan Noel”. £25


The Lawn Tennis Championships and the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club must be the subjects to the largest number of books of any similar organisation. Here is a small range of outstanding titles:

084: “Centre Court (The)….and others” by F.R. Burrow; 1st edition of 1937 in 8vo hb/dw with 312 pp. Here is the life story of the great Wimbledon Referee (1919-1936), famous for his enormous cigars, who was a great character, spending much of his summer months travelling round the country to referee so many events. But it was for Wimbledon that he is best known and his many anecdotes about the giant player personalities with whom he dealt make fascinating reading. The book is in a rather faded dust-wrapper. £95

Items 084 & 041 Items 098 & 099

085: “Centre Court: The Jewel in Wimbledon’s Crown” edited by John Barrett and Ian Hewitt in large 4to hb/dw with 240 pp in landscape format. This book was specially written to coincide with the opening of the new sliding roof. The book is a very detailed study of the Centre Court through its design and construction back in the early 1920s, and then it recounts the great stories of the champions who have met with both triumph and disaster on its hallowed grass; beautifully illustrated with marvellous photographs. £25

086: “Fifty Years of Wimbledon 1877 to 1926” by A. Wallis Myers; 4to hb with 96 pp; the de luxe edition with green leatherette boards. This book was specially written to celebrate the first 50 years of the Championships by a man who witnessed most of these years and was also a good player himself. He reviews each year with knowledgeable comments on the players and their matches. Many previously unseen photos illustrate the book. At the end of the book is the Championship roll to 1925. £75

087: “Fifty Years of Wimbledon 1877 to 1926” by A. Wallis Myers; 4to hb with 96pp. As above but this is the standard edition. £35

088: “Wimbledon Annuals 1983 to 2009”: First written by John Parsons and latterly by Neil Harman, each edition is 4to hb/dw with 160 pp. The books are written on a day-by-day basis illustrated with many colour photos of the action. At the end is a full list of all completed draws. Generally in a variable print run of c5000 copies, note that 2009 is now sold out from the publishers.

1983, 1984, 1985 each at £95; 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2008 each at £15

1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007 each at £8 and finally.…………2009 at £25

089: “Wimbledon Story” by Norah Gordon Cleather; 1st edition of 1947 in small 8vo hb/dw with 231 pp. Norah worked in the offices at the All England Club for 25 years and left immediately after the 2nd World War, having seemingly run the Club single-handed through the war. She was privy to all the amazing behind-the-scenes moments and dramas involving many great players of the period. This copy is inscribed and signed by Norah on the title page. £35

090: “Wimbledon The Official History of the Championships” by John Barrett; updated edition of 2001 (5000 copies only) in large 4to hb/dw with 468 pp. This massive book is a most impressive work detailing the history of the All England Club over its life since 1868 and the Championships. Huge quantities of photos illustrate the book and the full draws for both singles events are printed. £95

091: “100 Years of Wimbledon” by Lance Tingay; 1st edition of 1977 in large 4to hb/dw with 256 pp. Specially written for the Championships Centenary, Lance was the best man for this job, having reported at Wimbledon for some 35 years. His era by era study is very thorough and he recounts so many anecdotes about the great matches, personalities, on-court disasters and triumphs, upsets and so on. The book is copiously illustrated with photographs; there are full records and player biogs of the Wimbledon champions. £15

092: “Wimbledon Final Edition Programmes” published on demand after the Championships and containing the full results of every event. I have many collectors still trying to complete their runs. My own collection goes back to 1938. This info should be on line!
My current availability list is as follows: 1972, 1976, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007. Each at £10

Item 086 Item 110 Item 111


I have yet to visit Roland Garros during the French Open as I am always at The Queen’s Club and have yet to master the art of being in two places at once! But other than huge crowds in a slightly smaller area than at Wimbledon, I am sure that just about everything else is comparable, except the court surfaces. And it rains even in Paris during the event, as it rains also at Melbourne and Flushing Meadow, so please don’t think that the Championships is the only Grand Slam to be affected by rain!

Roland Garros has a small but excellent bibliography, mainly centred on the annuals usually written by Patrice Dominguez. These annuals are works of art in themselves as they concentrate on the visual aspects of the French Open, with amazing and sometimes quirky colour photos by the cream of tennis photographers. They are hard to come by in the English speaking world, so here are four editions plus the star book on the complex, which is up there with John Barrett’s excellent Wimbledon histories.

093: “Roland Garros: Le Livre du Tournoi du Centenaire” by Gilles Delamarre; 1st edition of 1991 in large 4to hb/dw with 248 pp. This is the most detailed and indeed authoritative study of the world famous tennis arena of clay court tennis, from the earliest days of French tennis leading to the establishment of a venue worthy of the French Open. Here are all the great stories, personalities, matches etc. with much emphasis on the Musketeers and Lenglen. But nearly all the greats (but not quite all…McEnroe, Connors) have won in Paris. The photography is brilliant, and the record of results contains the semis and finals. It is a very hard to find book. £110

094: “Roland Garros 1986” in large 4to pictorial boards with 118 pp. Champions were Ivan Lendl and Chris Evert-Lloyd. £35

095: “Roland Garros 1992” in large 4to hb/dw with 120 pp. Champions were Jim Courier and Monica Seles. £35

096: “Roland Garros 1994” in large 4to hb/dw with 120 00. Champions were Sergei Bruguera and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario. £35

097: “Roland Garros 2004” in large 4to pb with 116 pp. Champions were Gaudio and Myskina. £35


Lawn Tennis titles that were published prior to 1900 are very rare these days; in fact not many titles were published in that period and the actual number of copies in each edition was also much smaller than might be expected today. Look at the Real Tennis lists where even today, it is rare to find a print-run of more that 500 copies, and latterly, 300 copies has been the norm.

Items 100 & 103 Items 108 & 114

Going back to Major Wingfield’s first rules book of Sphairistike, we can still only locate 21 extant copies worldwide in all editions from 1874 to 1876. There follows a small number of exceptional lawn tennis titles dealing with the coaching side. All are in very good condition and are classics of their kind.

098: “Lawn-Tennis” by James Dwight; 1st UK edition of 1886 in small 8vo green and gilt decorated hb with 93 pp. A beautiful book to look at externally, this is Dwight’s first book and it is also the first coaching book to be published in the USA and written by a USA citizen. This book is therefore the foundation book in the USA lawn tennis bibliography. £300

099: “Lawn-Tennis” by James Dwight; 1st USA edition of 1886 in small 8vo grey boards with 94 pp. As above, and this really is the first Lawn Tennis book in the USA bibliography, though there are earlier titles but only partly on Lawn Tennis. £450

100: “Lawn Tennis” by H.W.W. Wilberforce; 1st USA edition of 1890 in small 12mo beautiful green boards externally gilt decorated with 80 pp. This book was published for around 20 years in many editions, so it was well received by the lawn tennis playing public. £250

101: “Lawn Tennis” by H.W.W. Wilberforce; 3rd edition of 1892 in small 12mo red boards externally decorated with 80 pp. A major draw for this book is that has very early photographs showing that they were taken at the Worple Road ground of the All England Club. £150

102: “Lawn Tennis as a Game of Skill” by S.C.F. Peile, and edited by R.D. Sears; 1st USA edition of 1885 in small 12mo pictorial boards with 90 pp. The book was first published in Great Britain and was published in the USA under the editorship of Sears, though technically it is a GB title. Sears has added a few of his own comments to make it his own. Slightly stained on the boards. £250

103: “Lawn Tennis as a Game of Skill” by S.C.F. Peile; 3rd edition of 1885; as above but with 86 pp. A lovely clean copy. £250

104: “Practical Lawn Tennis” by James Dwight; 1st USA edition of 1893 in small 8vo blue decorated boards with 168 pp. Dwight is now much more street-wise, having leaned heavily on the lessons of a trip to England where he became amongst the first American competitors at the Championships. He became one of the fathers of American Lawn Tennis. £350


For years I have promoted the concept of quality in all the books I have sold. In my view, all books should be in the best possible condition and definitely with dust-wrappers where issued. In addition, as the field is quite large, it is best to stick to a theme, such as novels, biographies, programmes, or books from a certain period; the range is whatever you want it to be.

I have recently bought two very large collections of tennis books, somewhere in the region of 1000 volumes. Both collections were known to me but when I eventually brought the books home, I was plunged into despair! The condition of the majority of these books was appalling; they were damaged, had pages absent, and worse. But amongst those books, there are some treasures and some of these are listed here, others have already been sold.

But I say as clearly as I can, if you want to build a top tennis library, please go for condition. I am always available to help in these matters; not only has my database passed 6000 racket sports titles, but I now retain scanned-in photos of every title that crosses my desk. I can always supply a photo of any book that may interest you. And I retain a large stock of great condition books, and yes………almost all of them are in their original dust-wrappers, especially in the period 1915 to 1940.

On the subject of collecting tennis books and other collectibles and antiques, the following titles may be of assistance and/or interest:

105: “Art of Tennis 1874-1940 (The)” by Gary H. Schwartz; 1st USA edition of 1990 in 4to pb with 171 pp. This book illustrates a wide selection of magazine covers, picture postcards, and advertisements, all showing views of tennis or with tennis content. £20

106: “Early Lawn Tennis in Great Britain as shown by Photographic Images” by Rowles/Gurney/Elks; 1st edition in 4to pb with 82 pp. The book illustrates many early photos of tennis scenes which are mostly from the latter part of the 19th century. £25

107: “From Palm to Power: The Evolution pf the Racket” by Peter Maxton; 1st edition of 2008 in 8vo pb with 63 pp. A renowned expert on antique tennis rackets writes his description of how the racket evolved over the centuries. Very well illustrated. £15

108: “Guide to the Literature of Tennis (A)” by Angela Lumpkin; 1st USA edition of 1985 in 8vo hb/dw with 235 pp. She has written 14 chapters each listing in text the many tennis titles she has identified. It is a good effort and heavy on USA titles. £30

109: “Kenneth Ritchie Wimbledon Library Catalogue 2007” compiled by Alan Little; small 8vo pb with 201 pp. This useful book lists the Wimbledon Library holdings of books, magazines, programmes and other printed material currently held on their shelves. It is not an exhaustive bibliography of what actually exists; their holdings are constantly increasing with new acquisitions. £15

110: “Racket Sports Collectibles” by Robert T. Everitt; 1st edition of 2002 in large 4to hb/dw with 304 pp. Quite the most authoritative reference book on the subject, this mighty tome covers books, programmes, magazines, player photos, tickets, membership cards, cigarette cards, images of all types, equipment including rackets, boxed sets, balls, clothing, presses, nets and poles, ceramics, glass, metal-ware including trophies, coins and medals, brooches and even more than this. Each item is photographed, described and allocated a suggested price level as at 2002. The items shown come from the collections of several Midlands collectors. £50

111: “Tennis Antiques & Collectibles” by Jeanne Cherry; 1st USA edition of 1995 in 4to pb with 200 pp. This marvellous book illustrates the life-long passion the author has had for collecting tennis antiques. Surely a devotee of antique and boot fairs, she has gathered together a major collection of tennis artefacts right across the range of collectibles, all brilliantly illustrated here. £45

112: “Tennis Bibliography 1874-2000” compiled by Frank Phelps (see Farewells) and Gordy Sabine; 2004; large 4to hb with 377 pp. This is a huge source of information for the serious lawn tennis book collector; it lists 3200 English language books, leaflets and pamphlets in four main lists as to Author, Subject, Title, and Year, to which is added a further section on Periodicals and Annuals. I am pleased to note that some of the information has come from my own extensive records. Almost all sold now. £100

113: “Tennis Nella Cartolina (Il)” by Beppe Russotto; 1st edition of 2007 in broad 8vo pb with 175 pp. This labour of love illustrates the art of collecting tennis postcards, a much used route to tennis collecting. I maintain a substantial selection of player cards from Wimbledon including Chaplin Jones, Trim, and later photo-cards from the 1950s. £30

114: “Tennis Sourcebook (The)” by Dennis J. Phillips; 1st edition of 1995 in 8vo hb with 531 pp. A most odd book in which the compiler has located and listed many 1000s of tennis titles and sorted them into logical departments. This must have taken years! £30


115: “Mr G”: I have taken in an unusual book in Swedish which concentrates on King Gustavus or Mr. G as he was known. The king was an inveterate tennis player and spent much time touring the tennis world especially down to the French Riviera during the season, where he was often seen on court with leading players of the period.

This book is called “Mr G” in a slim 4to format in hard boards with 32 pages. Inside is an inscription which says: “To Mr Douglas J. Lowe as a memory of the match against Mr G in the Royal Lawn Tennis Club August 1933 Stockholm, Sincerely yours” and I can’t read the signature! It is under the secondary title “Curling Lawn Tennis och Golf” with an introduction in English by A Wallis Myers. In it he discloses that the King’s Cup was donated by King Gustavus; I believe it is still played. Myers writes a strong personal tribute to the pioneer of Lawn Tennis in Sweden. It is one of 100 numbered copies. £95


As I understand it, the WTA will not be publishing a player guide, as all the required information and stats can now be found at the WTA website. I think ATP is publishing a guide but have not yet ordered any. I may have some for June.


116: “Basic Tennis: a new approach that strips the game down to its fundamentals, shows you these fundamentals in action photos” by Bob Gordon; edition of 1976 in 8vo pb with 96 pp. Not in my usual range of high quality tennis literature but this one fell out of a box. It is an amusing coaching title in which every page is a colour photo of a stark naked young lady playing the various shots. As this is now getting on for 40 years old, she is probably a granny by now and regretting her actions! But it amused me and it might amuse you! £20


After 25 years of playing Real Tennis, and trying too win a trophy, I have at last won my first tournament, albeit the club handicap doubles. To say it gave me pleasure at my advanced age to win the event would be a very large understatement!

Please let me know if you no longer wish to receive mailings and/or e-mails from The Tennis Bookshop




Then click at end of each title and do the tennis bookshop formatting to format with colour #996633 (the brown used on left and above, etc).

Open news_index.htm and add link and intro text to that to point to the latest 'archive' newsletter file.

Delete these notes, and save the file again.

Check work in browser, on various screen sizes!

Upload new files.


Click here to read previous newsletters


- Exhibitions - Real Tennis Books - Links of Interest - Mailing List - Contact Us

Oaklands Farm Cottage
Oaklands Lane, West Lavington,
Midhurst, West Sussex,
GU29 0EJ, England
Tel: +44 (0)1730 816116
FAX: +44 (0) 870-7052288
Alan Chalmers