FLASH NEWS…. A MAJOR NEW RAFA BOOK IS DUE IN SEPTEMBER
THE WOMEN’S EDITION OF THE GRAND SLAM RECORD BOOK IS HERE!
LIST OF CONTENTS
My last Newsletter/Catalogue was dated March 2010, so it is certainly a long time since I distributed and loaded a list of racket sports titles onto www.tennisbookshop.com. These are tricky trading times and very few traders will be experiencing hectic turnover. But I find demand for tennis literature remains good, even if more than fifty per cent of my business now goes outside the UK. It is not just the UK economy that is in a somewhat parlous state and I don’t expect things to improve much for at least a year and probably more.
The main arm of distributing information to the huge number of contacts I now have on e-mail is clearly by using the electronic route as much as possible. The advantages are obvious, so it is with regret that I have decided not to use the mailing route any more owing to the cumulative prohibitive costs. My occasional mass e-mails round the fifty or so countries in which I have customers often produce at least the same amount of business as would a paper newsletter. Indeed my e-mail list is now three times as long as my postal list.
Having said that, I can say that at The Queen’s Club in early June, I sold sixty per cent of the books that I took with me. This was my eighty-sixth week long tennis exhibition since 1988, and never have I sold so many books in one week. But I had to price them competitively.
ATTENTION COLLECTORS OF BOOKS ON REAL/COURT TENNIS
OR LE JEU DE PAUME AND RACKETS/RACQUETS
This catalogue turned out to be much longer than I had originally planned owing to the superb quality and number of the books on lawn tennis that I have either in stock or offered to me. I therefore decided to restrict this list to Lawn Tennis only and will produce a new list on Real/Court Tennis and Rackets literature in a few weeks. This also will be loaded onto the web-site as Catalogue 71 and it will contain quite a large number of titles. You will be advised by e-mail when this work has been completed.
I have recently added some new tennis titles to the website and most of these are listed in this newsletter/catalogue. The website is intended to be largely a source of information for lovers of tennis literature, and I am pleased to report that it does generate new business. The main feature is the archive of earlier newsletters of which this current edition is the seventieth. The statistics show that there is a very large traffic to the website.
EXPLANATORY NOTE RE BOOK DESCRIPTIONS
I try to use standard and easy to understand terms when describing my books. “12mo” is about 14cm x 16cm; “8vo” is about 14cm x 21cm; “4to” is about 21cm x 26cm. All books offered are in at least very good condition and where there are faults, these are described. Any purchase may be returned for a full and complete refund if there is a good sound reason for this.
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ORDERS AND PAYMENT FOR BOOKS
Please note that in the case of books that are out of print or many years old, it is most likely that I will only have one copy. Do let me know if you are looking for particular books. Books can be ordered by
Telephone: +44 (0) 1730-816116; Mobile/cell-phone +44 (0) 7860-395798; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Post: Oaklands Farm Cottage, Oaklands Lane, West Lavington, Midhurst, West Sussex GU29 0EJ, England
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AEGON MASTERS TENNIS AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL
WEDNESDAY 30 NOVEMBER TO SUNDAY 4 DECEMEBER
McENROE IS BACK!
It’s September already and the time to be reaching for your diary and your credit card to book your seats for this year’s AEGON MASTERS TENNIS which starts off your Christmas celebrations with a bang! The stars will be arriving in London in late November to bring you the perfect combination of competitive and entertaining tennis.
It is really exciting to learn that John McEnroe is returning to the ever-popular event after a three year absence; the lure of competing in this big event (which he has won four times) has been too great for him to resist.
Already confirmed for this year are Tim Henman, Pat Rafter, Goran Ivanisevic, and of course the hilarious Mansour Bahrami who will entertain the crowds with his trick shots in the doubles.
Joining them will be Henri Leconte and Pat Cash with other big names still to be announced. Ivanisevic knows that both Henman and Rafter will be pulling out the stops to avenge their Wimbledon defeats in 2001.
Exciting format changes this year include:
** Evening sessions will finish an hour earlier to help with your journey home.
** There are two singles groups competing simultaneously throughout the week – a six-man player field with the current stars on the ATP Champions Tour, and a four-man field consisting of iconic legends of the game.
** Sunday will now have two sessions. The midday session will see the Legends Final with the ATP Champions Tour Final starting at 5pm.
TICKETS can be bought by calling the box office on 020 7070 4404, or visiting www.AEGONMastersTennis.com
MANSOUR BAHRAMI AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL
All over the world, Mansour Bahrami has been entertaining the crowds with his astonishing repertoire of trick shots in the doubles matches. Each year at the Royal Albert Hall he has come to The Tennis Bookshop at Door 6 and spent many hours happily signing copies of his biography and his double DVD, posing for photographs and chatting to the fans. I am sure that this will be repeated this year. I have a few signed copies of both items as listed below and can take orders for special dedications for Christmas.
001: “MANSOUR BAHRAMI: The Man Behind the Moustache”; At the Royal Albert Hall, we sell huge quantities of this double-DVD package which runs for around 4 hours.
Features which are included are interviews about his life, highlights of his long career in tennis, and the whole hilarious doubles match played at the Royal Albert Hall in 2004 with Boris Becker, Henri Leconte and Ilie Nastase.
The DVDs are suitable for European format DVD players, but only suitable for USA players if they can accept both formats.
I can offer signed copies at £15
002: “THE COURT JESTER: My Story” by Mansour Bahrami; 1st English edition of November 2009 in 8vo paperback with 185 pages.
Now translated into English from the original French, here is the full story of his life in tennis. Starting off with the tough regime under which he lived in Persia, later Iran, how he got into tennis, his move to France and the eventual peak of his career as a competitive player on the circuit when he reached the final of the French Open doubles, losing to McEnroe and Fleming in 1986.
He has since made a career out of the Masters series by touring the world to show off the repertoire of his trick shots.
I can offer signed copies of the book at £15
AEGON GRASS COURT CHAMPIONSHIPS AT THE QUEEN’S CLUB: Congratulations to the LTA for an imaginative revamp of the exhibition area this year. This was a significant improvement and we hope to develop it further in 2012. Being much more in the public eye, our sales were significantly increased as is noted in the Introduction above. And we were delighted to welcome Christine Janes (nee Truman) who spent most of Thursday with us promoting her delightful book for children.
003: THE QUEEN’S CLUB STORY 1886-1986 by Roy Douglas McKelvie (born 1 July 1912 died 5 January 1996); 1st edition of 1986 in 4to hard boards and dust-wrapper with 306 pages. Certainly one of the most thorough and impressive tennis club histories ever written; this book is a celebration of the many sports that have been played at Barons Court since the club was founded.
The emphasis is on racket sports with Lawn Tennis and Real Tennis being uppermost, closely followed by Rackets. McKelvie, lawn tennis correspondent of the Sunday Express and top squash player for Scotland in the late 1930s, expertly reviews the club’s history and illustrates the book with many photos of the great players who have excelled on the club’s courts over the century of its life. And I am proud to have done all the research for Roy for the squash content.
A de luxe edition of 50 copies was published; this standard edition ran to 2000 copies and it is offered at £35
AEGON EASTBOURNE GRASS COURT CHAMPIONSHIPS: After 23 years exhibiting at Eastbourne, I chose to stand down preferring to have a break at home between Queen’s and Wimbledon. The appalling weather certainly justified this decision.
WIMBLEDON CHAMPIONSHIPS: The Fortnight was memorable for the eclipse of the Williams sisters, the unexpected defeat of Federer from 2 sets up, several amazing Women’s singles matches, and a top quality Men’s final where the right man won.
PAULINE MAY BETZ-ADDIE (born 6 August 1919 died 31 May 2011) Betz won the Wimbledon Ladies’ Singles championship in 1946 at her first and only appearance there and without dropping a set! She had already won the US Singles title in 1942, 1943, and 1944, and she went on to win the 1946 titles also, (the USA continued with competition through the 2nd World War.)
She played in the victorious USA Wightman Cup team and won the French Open mixed whilst being losing finalist in the Ladies’ Singles and Doubles, so 1946 was indeed her “annus mirabilis”. Jack Kramer rated her as the second best woman player he had seen after Helen Wills. Betz was very unfairly banned by the USLTA in 1947 and so turned professional playing with Pancho Segura, Bobby Riggs and Gussie Moran.
She married Bob Addie in 1949; he was a sports correspondent and they had 5 children. I visited her in Bethesda many years ago and found her charming and modest.
004: WINGS ON MY TENNIS SHOES by Pauline Betz; 1st UK edition of 1949 in small 8vo hard boards and dust-wrapper with 198 pages.
Written very quickly after her 1946 Wimbledon win about which I have written above. The publicity says: “Miss Betz’ first victory at Wimbledon proved to be her last. The full story of the sensational events which led to the Unites States Lawn Tennis Association suspending her when she was on her way to defend her title is told here for the first time.”
The nineteen chapters tell of her early life, tennis in California, how she progressed at university and broke through into the top levels of the game in the USA and then was forced, almost against her will, to become a professional.
I can offer two copies of this charming book at £15
KURT NIELSEN (born 19 November 1930 died 11 June 2011) Kurt was born in Copenhagen and is the only Danish tennis player to have played in a men’s singles Grand Slam final. He reached the Wimbledon final in 1953 having beaten Ken Rosewall but losing in the final to Vic Seixas. Then in 1955 he lost again, this time to Tony Trabert. He had already won the Boy’s Singles at Wimbledon in 1947 beating Sven Davidson.
Playing with Althea Gibson in 1957, he won the US Mixed Doubles becoming the only Dane to have won a Grand Slam final as a senior player. He won around 30 international titles, played 96 Davis Cup matches (53/43) and holds the record for winning a multitude of Danish National titles.
He held many honorary positions in international tennis associations and was for many years a Grand Slam supervisor and referee; he was also a TV commentator and summariser at tennis events.
JAMES HENRY McMANUS (born 16 September 1940 died 18 January 2011) Jim McManus was in tennis for more than 50 years. Having learned to play from Tom Stow, the coach who set Don Budge on the road to success, Jim became a very competent double-handed doubles player; he was ranked in the USA top 10 at singles and was in the no 2 doubles pair with Jim Osborne.
After tennis, he moved into administration with ATP and was probably the longest serving staff member. He took a great interest in the Senior Tour. Each year he would spend a few days at Wimbledon and was a delightful Anglophile with whom to speak.
His legacy will at the very least be the magnificent book listed as item 057 TENNIS HISTORY, a complete record of every men’s professional tennis tournament played anywhere in the world since the first event back in the 19th century. It was a project on which he had worked for many years and it is gratifying to know that he lived just long enough to see it published.
BEATRICE MARY WATSON-SEAL (born 13 January 1914 died 13 January 2011) Bea Seal was a very competent tennis tournament referee with whom one did not argue.
In June 1972 at the London Grass Court Championships played at The Queen’s Club, she was called out onto court to decide a dispute between Pancho Gonzales and the chair umpire over a service line call.
“Either that linesman goes or I do” said the scowling Gonzales, who at 6 feet 3 inches towered over the redoubtable Mrs Seal.
“The linesman stays” she replied.
Then followed a frank exchange of views in which Pancho said to her:
“Don’t come too close to me lady, or I might lose my temper.”
Bea promptly disqualified Pancho on the spot, so he picked up his bags and left leaving a somewhat bewildered John Paish in the final.
She was born in Belgium and became the Belgian Ladies’ golf champion. In the 1930s, she played at Wimbledon in all three events but without great success, and then played every year from 1947 to 1960. She captained the victorious GB Wightman Cup team. I attended her funeral in London on 24 January.
THE WOMEN’S GRAND SLAM RECORD BOOK HAS JUST ARRIVED
VOLUME 2………THE WOMEN’S DRAWS
005: THE GRAND SLAM RECORD BOOK, Volume 2: Tutti I resultati degli Slam dal 1877 a oggi compiled by Alessandro Albiero and Andrea Carta with a preface by Federico Ferrero; published in July 2011 in very thick 4to paper covers with 1072 pages.
The first 25 pages are in Italian and they carry the compilers’ comments on the book and its contents. But if you don’t speak/read Italian that is no consequence as the next 1047 pages are the main body of the book which is described here.
This huge new book carries the full and detailed draw sheets for the four Grand Slam events showing the Women’s Singles, Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles since they first started. Thus here can be found the
** Australian Championships Women’s Singles and Doubles, and the Mixed Doubles from 1922 to 2011.
** French Championships Women’s Singles and Doubles, and the Mixed Doubles from 1925 to 2010.
** Wimbledon Women’s Singles from 1884 to 2010; the Women’s Doubles from 1913 to 2010, and the Mixed Doubles from 1919 to 2010.
** US Championships Women’s Singles from 1887 to 2010; the Women’s Doubles from 1889 to 2010, and the Mixed Doubles from 1892 to 2010.
** Lengthy tables showing the winners of each of the Grand Slams in year order.
** “Le magnifiche Quattro” (the magnificent four) where the authors have chosen their top four players listing their Grand Slam results; the four players being Maureen Connolly, Margaret Court, Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf. With each player is their complete and detailed Grand Slam record of all matches played.
This is a much anticipated book; the Men’s equivalent last year sold extremely well and was widely praised as being the only single source where all this information can be found. Only 300 copies of the book have been printed and it is immediately available.
I can offer copies of this large heavy book at £45
PS: Whereas the Men’s edition can truly be titled “dal 1877 a oggi”, I would suggest the women’s edition should be titled “dal 1884 a oggi”.
006: THE GRAND SLAM RECORD BOOK, Volume 1: Tutti I resultati degli Slam dal 1877 a oggi compiled by Alessandro Albiero and Andrea Carta; published in July 2010 in very thick 4to paper covers with 837 pages.
The first twenty-six pages are in Italian and they carry the compilers’ comments on the book and its contents. But if you don’t speak/read Italian that is no consequence as the next 811 pages are the main body of the book which is described here.
This huge new book carries the full and detailed draw sheets for the four Grand Slam events showing the Men’s Singles and Doubles since they first started. Thus here can be found the
** Australian Championships Men’s Singles and Doubles from 1905 to 2010.
** French Championships Men’s Singles and Doubles from 1925 to 2009.
** Wimbledon Men’s Singles from 1877 to 2009; the Men’s Doubles from 1884 to 2009.
** US Championships Men’s Singles and Doubles from 1881 to 2009.
** “Le magnifiche sette”” (the magnificent six) where the authors have chosen their top six players listing their Grand Slam results; the six players being William Tilden, Don Budge, Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg, Pete Sampras, and Roger Federer.
I can offer copies of this large heavy book at £45
007: THE GRAND SLAM RECORD BOOKS Volumes 1 and 2: compiled by Alessandro Albiero and Andrea Carta; editions of 2010 and 2011.
I can offer a very small number of items 005 and 006 together as described above as a package at £75
SOME GREAT CLASSIC BOOKS BY HELEN WILLS AND BILL TILDEN
HELEN NEWINGTON WILLS (born 6 October 1905 died 1 January 1998), Helen was Wimbledon Ladies’ Singles champion for 1927 to 1930, 1932, 1935 and 1938; she was French champion in 1928, 1929, 1930, and 1932; and she was US champion in 1923, 1924, 1925, 1927, 1928, 1929, and 1931. Her name will live forever in the annals of tennis as “Little Miss Poker Face”, one of the toughest women players of all time. And as a side-line she became a very competent artist whose original works are much collected.
008: FIFTEEN-THIRTY: The Story of a Tennis Player by Helen Wills; 1st USA edition of 1937 in 8vo hard boards and dust-wrapper with 311 pages.
Written at the age of 32, this is a very interesting and well constructed account of her life from the earliest tennis memories when she started to come before the public at only 15 years of age. She rapidly advanced in prowess sweeping aside all before her to become seven-times Wimbledon Ladies’ Singles champion together with many other international honours and achievements.
Her rivalry with Helen Jacobs was one of the most famous rivalries in tennis history and it is clear that for the most part Wills was the dominant player when it mattered. Her high profile as a tennis player brought her into close contact with many famous world figures and these included Augustus John, the artist who inspired her in her drawing and painting.
This copy is in beautiful condition as is the dust-wrapper; the book is signed internally by Helen Wills and is offered at £375
009: TENNIS 1st USA edition of 1928 in 8vo hard boards and dust-wrapper with 214 pages and illustrations by the author.
Few players in this era were more qualified to write a coaching manual and so Wills’ book was a huge hit especially in the USA. In twenty-one chapters she patiently dissects her game and instructs the reader on how to emulate her. This is not just coaching for the game, it also covers the value of keeping fit, tactics, concentration, experience, temperament, etiquette and finally a little bit of personal history. Indeed it is possible that the last two personal chapters may have inspired her to write her next book at item 008 above.
This copy is in beautiful condition as is the dust-wrapper; the book is signed internally by Helen Wills and is offered at £175
010: DEATH SERVES AN ACE; 1st USA edition of 1939 in small 8vo hard boards and dust-wrapper with 317 pages.
Co-written with Robert W Murphy, as far as I can tell, this is Wills’ first and only venture into tennis fiction and inevitably parallels can be drawn between her own life and career and that of her heroine Betty Dwight, who is already fives times a Wimbledon Ladies’ Singles champion. The book tells about Betty’s personal struggles on and off the court.
This copy is in very good condition and it is signed internally by Helen Wills; it is offered at £200
011: HAND-WRITTEN LETTER FROM HELEN WILLS-ROARK DATED 1989: Written to “Sophie Hubner” dated Sep 1. 1989, this letter reads:
“Dear Sophie Hubner, /
I am happy to hear / you remember me from / my tennis days. / On a beautiful sunny / day here, I wish I / were on a tennis court / dashing around. / In my thoughts, I know / how to play, but to / play a game is no / longer possible…but / I love to think about it / and always will. / With best wishes to you, / Helen Wills Roark / Sept 1. 1989”
/ indicates where a new line starts. Letter measures 17cm x 26cm.
So this was written nine years before she died, and it is a nice acknowledgement of what was presumably a good-will letter from Mrs Hubner to Helen Wills-Roark. With the letter is the return-addressed envelope franked 5 Sep 1989 at Salinas CA with her return address shown as Mrs H.W. Roark PO Box 22095 Carmel CA 93922.
The two items are offered together at £250
012: THUMB-NAIL SKETCH BY HELEN WILLS MOODY OF HERSELF INCLUDING AUTOGRAPH: This appears to be a page from an autograph album with the signature “Helen Wills Moody” and below that a very small but instantly recognisable sketch of herself.
This is a head and neck profile view from the left-side of her face, and she is wearing her typical visor. Her aptitude for drawing and painting was much encouraged by the great artist Augustus John from whom she took advice and coaching.
This iconic little item is offered at £250
WILLIAM TATEM TILDEN 2nd (born 10 February 1893 died 5 June 1953), Big Bill was Wimbledon Men’s Singles champion in 1920, 1921 and 1930; and he was US champion in 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, and 1929. He was an enigmatic man with many faces, but whatever his failings, he was the world’s top player for most of the 1920s. He was a prolific author mostly on tennis, whether it was biographies, histories, coaching titles or his many rather juvenile tennis novels.
I am able to offer in very good condition copies of several of his titles, some signed and in dust-wrappers. (Any dustwrapper pre-1940 is a very desirable asset!)
013: ACES, PLACES AND FAULTS 1ST UK edition of 1938 in 8vo hard boards and dust-wrapper with 304 pages.
In which Tilden calls it his autobiography, not his first self-portrait and certainly not the last. This one takes it up to the end of his amateur life or as the sleeve boasts “This book covers the entire world of tennis…and much more”.
The seven chapters cover himself, the ladies game, tennis around the world, professional tennis, famous people he has met, his theatrical and fiction writing achievements, and then some hints on how to improve your game.
This is a very nice copy in its dust-wrapper and it is signed internally by Tilden; it is offered at £200
MATCH PLAY AND THE SPIN OF THE BALL 1st USA edition of 1925 in large 8vo hard boards with 355 pages; edited by S. Wallis Merrihew and with a foreword by Gerald L Patterson.
Of all the books Tilden wrote, and he was a prolific author, this is far and away the book for which he will be remembered. Was it John Newcombe who said many years ago that he never left home without a copy in his tennis bag? Tilden’s playing record was superb so anything he writes on how to improve your game needs to be heeded.
There are thirteen chapters by the author on what he sees as the most important aspects of his game; then follow 12 chapters by the editor in which he analyses Tilden’s game and features the high points. There are ninety-six photographs of the great players of the day demonstrating their shots.
This book was published in the USA in two editions and I can offer one copy of each as follows:
014: The de luxe edition presented in red leather and buckram boards internally marbled in a numbered run of 340 copies signed by Tilden and Merrihew. It is a long time since I had one of these very rare editions. Note that the example shown in the photograph is not the actual edition offered here which is edition no. 65; it is offered at £500
015: The standard edition in blue hard boards in incredibly rare dust-wrapper; it is offered at £300
016: ME THE HANDICAP 1st UK edition of 1929 in small 8vo hard boards with 164 pages.
By calling himself “The Handicap”, he is clearly recognising that he is to some extent responsible for his own reputation. Like many brilliant players, he was frequently in conflict with his rather stuffy governing body, i.e. the USLTA. The book is a broad brush approach to his life, his own game, the people against whom he played, and how he sees tennis in other countries.
This copy is signed internally by the following international players of the period:
Wm T Tilden 2nd, Hans Nusslein (born 31 March 1910 died 28 June 1991), R H Ramilton (anyone know his dates please?), M Plaa (born 12 March 1901 died 23 March 1977), E Estrabeau (born 20 October 1906 died ??), H Cochet (born 14 December 1901 died 1 April 1987), Ellsworth Vines (born 28 September 1911 died 17 March 1994), Don Budge (born 13 June 1915 died 27 June 2000), and Les Stoefen (born 30 March 1911 died 8 February 1970).
Tilden has dated his signature as July 1936 at the International Professional Championships of Great Britain played in Southport, England. I have attached an internet report of that tournament.
This marvellous time-capsule signed by nine great pre-1940s players is in good condition and it is offered at £750
017: MY STORY: a Champion’s Memoirs 1st USA edition of 1948 in small 8vo hard boards and dust-wrapper with 336 pages.
And here is his last book in which he recounts many anecdotes mentioning more than 2000 well-known names, he tries to defend himself against some of his critics, he evaluates tennis stars past and present, he looks at what is bad and perverted (?) in the game, and he lays out his recipes for success as a player. In other words it is a typical Tilden title, full of self-praise and justification laced with critical comments on others.
I can offer a nice copy in a dust-wrapper at £95
018: SHOOTING STARS OF 1930 1st and only edition of 1930 in small 12mo paper covers with 64 pages.
This very rare little book was published especially to publicise Tilden’s assessments of the top 54 players at the 1930 Wimbledon Championships. Each player has a photograph, supporting text of one page and a further blank page set aside for that player’s autograph. So far I have never seen an autographed copy.
I can offer a copy at £150
019: THE COMMON SENSE OF LAWN TENNIS; 1st edition of 1924 in small 8vo hard boards and dust-wrapper with 174 pages.
A further literary offering from this prolific tennis player, in which he writes two chapters on how to improve your game and then he launches into a series of controversial commentaries on players, personalities, matches and places in a manner which in those days was hardly likely to endear him to the authorities. It is illustrated with nine photographic plates.
This copy is in a nice rare early dust-wrapper and is offered at £100
Bill Tilden really fancied himself both as a stage actor and as a writer of tennis fiction. He tried both with limited success as his acting was merely a means of promoting himself as he was. His fiction however was a bit darker in that it often recounted the on-court dramas of an older champion and a young protégé.
020: IT’S ALL IN THE GAME AND OTHER TENNIS TALES 1st edition of 1922 in small hard boards and dust-wrapper with 245 pages.
Here are fifteen short stories about the game featuring the old champion and his struggles to win in whatever championship he was entered and usually there is a much younger doubles partner or associate involved.
I can offer a nice copy of the book at £70
021: THE PHANTOM DRIVE AND OTHER STORIES OF LAWN TENNIS 1st edition of 1924 in small 8vo hard boards with 234 pages.
And here are twelve more tennis novelettes mostly on the same theme of the older player/champion going on court with a much younger player and winning the day.
I can offer a nice copy of this rare Tilden title at £75
022: THE PINCH QUITTER AND OTHER LAWN TENNIS STORIES FOR JUNIORS; 1st USA edition of 1924 in small 8vo hard boards with 202 pages.
Here are eleven short stories mostly about young boys and older men at the local tennis club.
I can offer a very nice copy in an exceptionally rare dust-wrapper, (in fact so rare that I have never seen one) at £200
SOME GREAT AND RARE TENNIS TITLES FROM EARLY IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
As a lover of books (no Kindles in this house!) it gives me great pleasure to acquire some of the great early books on tennis. They are so hard to find these days especially in a condition which makes them attractive to connoisseurs. The following short selection lists important examples of such books, books which might come along once in ten to twenty years.
023: A LAWN TENNIS ALPHABET rhymed and pictured by Horace Francis Crowther-Smith; 1st UK edition of 1914 in large 8vo hard pictorial boards with 55 pages and several pages of advertisements for Slazengers tennis equipment, this being published by Slazengers to compliment the 1913 publication of A CROQUET ALPHABET by the same artist/author.
Crowther Smith was a most accomplished artist and his original works are highly valued. This book lists a series of well-known tennis players of the pre-Great War era in A to Z order, each accompanied by a two line rhyme starting with the initial letter and opposite is a lovely coloured portrait of the player named, for example:
“F For the few who can say that their game bears
Comparing with that of the skilled Mrs Chambers.”
Not Nobel Literature prize stuff maybe but amusing and it all makes a lovely book with historical tennis interest.
This is my second copy in 25 years; the spine is partly lacking and frayed. It is offered at £250
024: LAWN TENNIS FOR LADIES by Mrs Lambert Chambers; 1st UK edition of 1910 in small 8vo hard boards with 135 pages and a further forty or so pages with advertisements.
Dorothea Katharine Douglass (born 3 September 1878 died 7 January 1960) was Ladies’ Singles champion at Wimbledon in 1903, 1904, 1906, 1910, 1911, 1913 and 1914. She lost the 1919 final to Suzanne Lenglen in one of the all-time great matches by 10-8 4-6 9-7.
Her book is a very important part of the lawn tennis bibliography because it is I believe the first tennis coaching and historical book on tennis written by a European woman player. The seven chapters are clearly written by her, and they explain her views on lawn tennis as played by women.
Chapter 6 is a pleasant wander down memory lane; there are quite a few photographs of her demonstrating her shots and several of the old Centre Court, indeed amongst the best of such photos that I have seen.
The final chapter is by invitation wherein she has asked several of the leading women players of the day to describe their most memorable matches. Players who responded read like a Wimbledon legends parade as they include Mrs G W Hillyard, Mrs Sterry, Mrs Durlacher, Miss V M Pinckney, Mrs D Boothby, Mrs Larcombe, Mrs Lamplough, Miss A M Morton, and Miss A M Greene.
In her chapter 6, she is asked if she makes money by playing tennis and laughs this off saying that it actually costs her money to play for travel, accommodation and coaching. Inserted loose into the book is her letter-head hand written as an invoice for “lawn tennis tuition” for 4 lessons in the Autumn Term; the invoice is dated December 21st 1936, by which time she was 58. She has receipted the invoice for £2. 2s. 0d (or two guineas in old money) by signing “D K Lambert Chambers” over postage stamps.
The book and the signed invoice are offered together at £250
025: SUZANNE LENGLEN by Claude Anet (born Jean Schopfer 28 May 1868 died 9 January 1931); 1st French language edition of 10 February 1927 in 12 mo paper covers with 195 pages bound into later presentation red leather and calf boards, internally marbled.
Anet and Lenglen were great friends. Anet was a renowned playwright and well qualified to write this book which is easily the earliest biography of the great French tennis star, who at the time was probably the most famous woman in the world, such was the public adoration and worship of players such as Lenglen, Wills and Tilden.
The book is a very close-up study talking about the game and how she took it up as young girl, the great 1919 Wimbledon match against Mrs Lambert Chambers which marked the end of the pre-Great War players and announced the arrival of the 1920s stars, her rivalries first with Molla Mallory and then with Helen Wills, and how she became a professional.
This book was almost certainly written with her cooperation and as such is an important insight into her life. It was published in 1927 in Germany as DIE GOTTLICHE SUZANNE and in Sweden as SUZANNE LENGLEN: Ett Liv Vigt at Tennis. I am not aware of an English edition which is strange bearing in mind her popularity in Great Britain at that time.
This very good condition copy is offered at £125
A BRAND NEW ENGLISH BIOGRAPHY ABOUT RAFAEL NADAL
026: RAFA by John Carlin; 1st USA edition in 8vo hard boards and dust-wrapper with 272 pages. English born John Carlin is currently a senior writer with El Pais, the world’s leading Spanish newspaper.
In fact it is so new that I have not yet seen a copy (as at early August) but I have seen a review. Seemingly written in cooperation with Nadal, the book asks the questions: What makes a champion? What does it take to be the best in the world at your sport? Rafa shares the secrets of his success and the facts behind his personal life. His family has lived in Majorca/Mallorca for generations. His relationship with his uncle Tony is well known.
His rise has been meteoric and his personality and on-court skills have won him many admirers. John McEnroe is on record as saying that the 2008 Wimbledon final was “the greatest game of tennis he had ever seen”. And the story is far from over.
The book is now in stock and is offered at £15
A QUANTITY OF RARE EARLY SPALDING AND WRIGHT & DITSON ANNUALS
I can’t say that I have handled many of these annuals which don’t often travel across to Europe; they mostly stay within the USA. Nor is it completely clear to me when either of them started to be published, though my records suggest the first editions were 1882 for Wright & Ditson and 1885 for Spalding. I stand to be corrected here so if you have solid information, please let me know.
What can be said without contradiction is that examples of editions of either are rare and examples of editions pre-1920 are extremely rare, if for no other reason that they were all in paper covers and somewhat fragile. Over the period of their lives, they made very small changes to their titles and they had several editors.
I want to suggest that Spalding’s Annual was absorbed into Wright & Ditson in about 1933 and that Wright & Ditson’s last edition was published in 1940. Again if anyone has more solid information, do let me know please.
The annuals necessarily concentrated on the American game but also left plenty of room for the international game. They were probably the first major tennis annuals to include ranking lists and most of their correspondents were American.
The books were both published for the major part of their lives by the American Sports Publishing Co. They were presented in small 12mo paper covers with page numbers running from 150 to 350. The following are available, (one copy of each only) in pretty good condition bearing in mind their age etc.
027: SPALDING’S LAWN TENNIS ANNUALS for 1907, 1908, 1912, 1913, 1915, 1916, 1919, 1920 each at £60
028: SPALDING’S LAWN TENNIS ANNUALS for 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930 each at £50
029: WRIGHT & DITSON’S LAWN TENNIS ANNUAL for 1903 (no covers) at £75
030: WRIGHT & DITSON’S LAWN TENNIS ANNUALS for 1919, 1920 (no covers) each at £60
031: WRIGHT & DITSON’S LAWN TENNIS ANNUALS for 1922, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940 each at £50
LOWE’S LAWN TENNIS ANNUAL AND COMPENDIUM 1932 TO 1936
These excellent 1930s lawn tennis annuals were the brain-child of Sir Francis Gordon Lowe 2nd Baronet (born 21 June 1884 died 17 May 1972). Before he edited these annuals he had already become a very good class tennis player winning the Australian Championship in 1915 and the London Grass Court Championship at The Queen’s Club in 1912, 1913, and 1925.
The annuals are generally in small 8vo hard boards issued with dust-wrappers. They contain several parts delineated by thumb tags. Part one reviews the last Davis and Wightman Cup competitions, then the Grand Slams, then the UK national events; Part two has topical tennis articles; Part three talks about equipment and coaching; then come the delightful little potted biographies of leading players, and finally the broader review of all events played in the last few months.
032: LOWE’S LAWN TENNIS ANNUAL AND COMPENDIUM FOR 1932 in dust-wrapper with 491 pages at £70
033: Another copy but with no dust-wrapper at £50
034: LOWE’S LAWN TENNIS ANNUAL AND COMPENDIUM FOR 1933 with 491 pages at £50
035: LOWE’S LAWN TENNIS ANNUAL AND COMPENDIUM FOR 1934 with 533 pages at £50
036: LOWE’S LAWN TENNIS ANNUAL AND COMPENDIUM FOR 1935 with 475 pages at £50
037: LOWE’S LAWN TENNIS ANNUAL AND COMPENDIUM FOR 1936 with 408 pages at £50
TENNIS TITLES PUBLISHED IN 2011
These titles that follow have all been published in 2011; it is not an exhaustive list as I don’t generally list coaching manuals. These titles are what I would describe as the most important new titles in 2011 so far.
038: A HANDFUL OF SUMMERS by Gordon Forbes; paperback reprint of 2011 with 323 pages.
This book was first published in 1978 and it continues to be a best seller at my exhibitions. It tells of the hilarious life on and off the tennis court as enjoyed by Gordon Forbes, Abe Segal and others as they toured the world to compete in perhaps not quite the serious manner of today’s top players.
This new reprint with added photographs is offered at £10 post-free worldwide.
039: COURT ON CANVAS: Tennis in Art compiled by Anne Sumner with Kenneth McConkey, Susan J. Elks and Robert Holland and published in May. This is the luxury catalogue in large 4to landscape paperback with 167 pages illustrating and describing many of the decorative images on show at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts at Birmingham University.
It is amazing how many paintings, engravings and other forms of decorative art there are that show tennis through the period of its life since 1874. Great artists whose original works are on display until the end of September include Hayllar, Hockney, Lavery, Lowry and others.
In addition to paintings, there are photographs and posters, including the iconic Athena tennis girl photograph taken in 1978 and set onto that poster for sale in 1980 showing Fiona Butler from behind on the tennis court slightly raising her skirt. The rest is history. The photograph was taken by Martin Elliott (born 12 July 1946 died 24 March 2010), and it continues to produce royalties.
The exhibition and its many exhibits contain some very interesting early history about the “invention” of lawn tennis in Birmingham. It is always a source of debate amongst tennis historians….either you are a Wingfield man or you are not; there does not seem to be much middle ground. Robert Holland’s piece makes fascinating reading and I recommend it.
The exhibition is nicely timed for a summer visit for both UK residents and tourists with an interest in art and or tennis. The exhibition opened at the end of May and finishes on 18 September.
I can offer copies of the substantial illustrated catalogue at £30
040: EPIC: John McEnroe, Bjorn Borg, and the Greatest Tennis Season Ever by Matthew Cronin (tennis correspondent for Fox Sports and Inside Tennis magazine) and with a foreword by Tracy Austin; 1st USA edition of 2011 in 8vo hard boards and dust-wrapper with 288 pages.
This new book is a very detailed analysis of the 1980 season, one of the greatest ever, and specifically the two pivotal matches at Wimbledon and the US Open between Borg and McEnroe, matches considered by some to be the most exciting for decades. I am sure that like me, you will never forget the extraordinary tension and excitement of that Men’s final between Borg and McEnroe.
Interspersed with the accounts of the two matches, Cronin discusses the relationships between player and coach, between Borg and Bergelin, and between McEnroe and Hopman. It is alleged that occasionally Borg would demonstrate McEnroe tendencies, while McEnroe simply trod his own path.
While Borg famously showed no emotion on the court. McEnroe was the absolute opposite showing every emotion that he experienced, sometimes with unfortunate consequences. It is heartening to know that both players remain icons at least 30 years after their physical peaks, and that both are good friends still and both play tennis to a very high standard despite being over 50 years of age.
I can offer copies of this book at £20
041: HIGH STRUNG: Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe and the untold story of tennis’s fiercest rivalry by Stephen Tignor; 1st edition of 2011 in 8vo hard boards and dust-wrapper with 237 pages. Stephen Tignor is a senior writer at Tennis magazine and a columnist for Tennis.com and ESPN.com.
As the publicity says: “The golden age of tennis came crashing down suddenly at the 1981 U.S. Open. Bjorn Borg, the stoical Swede, who has become the richest and most famous player in the sport’s history, had just lost to his brash young rival, John McEnroe, in the final at Flushing Meadows. After his last shot floated out, Borg walked to the net, shook McEnroe’s hand in silence, and disappeared from the game he had dominated for the last decade.”
The retirement of Borg in 1981 was catastrophic for men’s tennis. The book focuses on the inter-reaction between Borg, McEnroe, Connors, Lendl, Nastase and Gerulaitis. They all produced great matches. Where are the great tennis personalities of today?
I can offer copies of this book at £20
042: TENNIS RECORD BOOK 2011 by Rino Tommasi; large 4to paperback with 312 pages. This is the 12th edition of Rino’s astonishing statfest of international tennis, containing amongst other tables:
** The full draw of every event in 2010
** Head to head results for all players
** Grand Slam draws
** The finals results and the last 8s for the Grand Slams since inception
** Match records of the top men and women for 2010
** Top ten players since the lists were started
** Top 100 men and women lists
** The records of recent Grand Slam winners
and so much more! Just 4 copies remaining each offered at £35
043: THE WAY I SAW IT: Memoirs From A Life In Sport by Ian Peacock; 1st paperback small 8vo edition of 2011 with 191 pages.
This is a very personal account of Ian’s busy life first with Slazengers where he worked his way from salesman to the top, then as a sports marketing man, them into the CEO chair at the Lawn Tennis Association, then to the Golf Foundation.
Only 150 copies or so have been privately printed (all signed by the author), which I can offer at £15
044: THE WIMBLEDON FINAL THAT NEVER WAS…And Other Tennis Tales from a Bygone Era by Sidney Burr Beardslee Wood (born 1 November 1911 died 10 January 2009) with David Wood and edited by Joe Stahl; 1st small 8vo USA paperback edition with 189 pages published by New Chapter Press. (See the paragraph at the end of this review)
The book details the life and times of Wood with a focus on one of the most unusual episodes ever in sport when he won the Men’s Singles title at Wimbledon by a default - the only time in the history of The Championships that the Men’s Singles final was not played. Wood tells the incredible story of how he and Frank Shields reached the final at Wimbledon in 1931. Shields was Wood’s school buddy, doubles partner, roommate and Davis Cup teammate, and the grandfather of actress and model Brooke Shields.
However, they did not play the final because Shields was ordered by the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association to withdraw/concede in order to rest his injured knee in preparation for an upcoming Davis Cup match for the United States. Wood then reveals his “private understanding playoff” that saw his match with Shields at The Queen’s Club tournament final in London three years later be played for the Wimbledon trophy.
Wood, who could be called the greatest story teller tennis ever had, also relates fascinating anecdotes and stories that involve famous personalities from Hollywood and across the globe. Tales that Wood shares in his memoir also include dating Grace Kelly, playing tennis with celebrities such as Errol Flynn, Charlie Chaplin, Groucho Marx and The Shah of Persia, and tennis legends such as Rene Lacoste, Fred Perry, Don Budge and others. Wood also rates the strokes and play of every leading player since the 1920s.
David Wood, the youngest son of Wood, serves as contributor to the volume.
This fascinating new title is offered at £15
(Founded in 1987, New Chapter Press is also the publisher of Roger Federer: Quest for Perfection by Rene Stauffer, the Bud Collins History of Tennis by Bud Collins, The Education of a Tennis Player by Rod Laver with Bud Collins, Acing Depression: A Tennis Champion’s Toughest Match by Cliff Richey and Hilaire Richey Kallendorf), On This Day In Tennis History by Randy Walker), Tennis Made Easy by Kelly Gunterman, A Player’s Guide to USTA League Tennis by Tony Serksnis.
Note that the tennis titles mentioned above can usually be bought from The Tennis Bookshop.
045: WHAT A RACKET! The Illustrated Story of the Alexander Patent Racket Co. Ltd., Launceston, Tasmania, Australia 1925-1961 by Christopher ‘Gus’ Green; 1st large 4to paperback edition of 2011 with 190 pages in a print run of 800 copies; there is also a de luxe edition of 150 numbered copies, presumably all now sold.
This is the story of Alfred Alexander who formed the company that bore his name to manufacture lawn tennis rackets which were used by players across the world, not just in Australia. But the company certainly moulded the Australian purchasing of rackets from abroad as the number of imported rackets dropped dramatically as the domestic manufacture boomed, largely thanks to Alexander.
This book deftly describes the life of the company through scrap-books, old company records and archives. There are many colour photographs of the Alexander racket range as well as many black and white photographs of various stages of the manufacturing processes. Sadly the company no longer trades, but for racket collectors, this is a valuable source of information.
I don’t have excess copies at present but I am sure they can be supplied. Likely price level is £40
046: WOMEN’S TENNIS 1968-84 The Ultimate Guide by John Dolan; 1st 8vo paperback edition of 2011 with 557 pages.
Dolan had a senior media role within the Women’s Tennis Association for many years and so is as well placed to compile this book as anyone. For him it has been clearly a labour of love.
This book describes each year’s women’s tennis season highlights (1968 to 1984 inclusive) and gives full results on every event played in that year. It is a unique source of information for followers of the women’s game.
It is published in a very short print run of about 400 copies and is offered at £35
TENNIS TITLES PUBLISHED IN THE LAST FEW YEARS
WHICH CONTINUE TO SELL AND SELL
The general conception is that there are not that many tennis titles out there, though my bibliography currently lists 6200 racket sports titles, the vast majority of which are lawn tennis. Visit any book shop and you will be lucky to find a single tennis title on display. But by scouring the internet, I continually discover previously unseen titles and I manage to get many of those into stock and by and large they sell. Those that follow are probably the leading tennis titles published in the last five years or so and they continue to sell!
047: ACING DEPRESSION: A Tennis Champion’s Toughest Match by Cliff Richey with Hilaire Richey Kallendorf, Ph. D. and with a foreword by Jimmy Connors; 1st USA edition in 8vo paperback with 277 pages.
Cliff was a top player in the 1960s and the 1970s, culminating in him leading the USA Davis Cup team to victory in 1970. He was known as an emotional player who wore his heart quite publicly on his sleeve, and this led to bouts of clinical depression.
He would occasionally shut himself off from the world, but he fought hard against the depression and over a long period of time, and ably assisted by his wife, he gradually improved. This book is intended to describe his troubles and to help others to overcome their own troubles.
I can offer copies at £10
048: ALL-ROUND GENIUS: The Unknown Story of Britain’s Greatest Sportsman by Mick Collins; 1st UK edition of 2006 in small 8vo hard boards and dust-wrapper with 218 pages. Collins is a free-lance journalist.
The unnamed mystery man is in fact Maxwell Woosnam (born 6 September 1892 died 14 July 1965), not a name with which many readers will be familiar but the book’s title says it all. Woosnam really was a great all-round sportsman excelling at so many sports.
The back page of the book lists his athletic prowess at Cambridge where he received his blue for football, cricket, golf, lawn tennis, and real tennis. It is a wonder he had any time to study for his degree which he achieved with difficulty. After Cambridge, his sporting achievements included at football as “Captain of England and Manchester City”, at tennis as “Wimbledon Doubles Champion in 1921”, “GB Davis Cup Captain”, “Olympic Tennis Gold Medallist”, at Cricket “Centurion at Lord’s”, “scratch golfer”, and “maximum break at snooker”
An odd fact that marks him out as exceptional (and perhaps a bit eccentric!) was the occasion on which he challenged Charlie Chaplin to a game of table tennis, and beat him while playing with a butter knife! He was also a great pioneer and supporter of table tennis.
The book is offered at £10
049: GETTING A GRIP: On my game, my body, my mind…my self by Monica Seles; 1st UK edition of 2009 in 8vo hard boards and dust-wrapper with 290 pages.
Monica made her name on the international tennis world at the tender age of 16 by becoming the youngest winner of the French Open. She won eight Grand Slam titles over the next three years (Australian Open in 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1996; French Open in 1990, 1991, and 1992; US Open in 1991 and 1992) and all seemed well for the future, until that awful day in April 1993 in Hamburg when a lunatic attacked her.
It was hardly surprising that the attack had a major effect on Monica’s confidence and she descended into a web of despair. But she battled on gamely and gradually overcame her mental problems and started playing competitively again. This is a very frank and moving account of her life.
I can offer copies of this book at £10
050: HEY BIG BOY! A Legacy of Laughs by an ex No.1 by Alan Abraham “Abe” Segal with a foreword by Sean Connery; in large 8vo paperback edition of South Africa with 357 pages.
Always a larger than life man on and off the court, here are Abe’s recollections of the many amusing happenings in his long life in tennis. His record is very impressive with a number of singles titles won, last 8s at Wimbledon and the US Open, and plenty of doubles wins including five South African titles, and with Gordon Forbes they were twice losing finalists at the French Open, and losing semi-finalists at Wimbledon.
I believe I am right in saying he still holds the record (with Gordon Forbes) of the longest set at doubles at Wimbledon in 1968 against Olmedo and Segura which the South Africans lost by 32 games to 30. He was a stalwart of the South African Davis Cup side.
The other side of his amazing life is his friendship with so many film stars and other public personalities, friendships gained in his many years of globe-trotting to play the game he loved. The book is absolutely full of entertaining anecdotes about these friendships.
I can offer copies of this heavy book at £10
051: HOLDING SERVE: Persevering On and Off the Court by Michael Chang with Mike Yorkey; 1st USA edition of 2002 in 8vo hard boards and dust-wrapper with 262 pages. Chang was a great player in the late 1980s and through the 1990s.
He remains (I believe) the youngest man to win a Grand Slam singles title when he won the French Open in 1989 aged just 17 years and three months; he defeated Stefan Edberg in a five-setter having previously beaten Ivan Lendl in another five-setter during which Chang was famously forced to serve underarm owing to extreme cramps.
Chang also holds the record for the longest US Open match when in 1992 he again played Edberg, this time narrowly losing the match. He reached three Grand Slam finals after his French Open win but lost them all. He was lightning fast round the court which to a large extent made up for his shortness in stature.
He retired in 2003 and made no secret of his religious convictions which seemed to him to be more important than the continuing struggle round the global tennis circuit.
I can offer a copy of this book very nicely signed by Chang at £30
052: LITTLE PANCHO: The Life of Tennis Legend Pancho Segura by Caroline Seebohm; 1st USA edition of 2009 in small 8vo hard boards and dust-wrapper with 210 pages.
Born at Guayaquil in Ecuador on 20 June 1921, Pancho (or to give him his full name Francisco Segura Caano), fast became and indeed remains an iconic tennis figure, despite the fact he is now 90. He came over to Wimbledon in 2009 and greatly amused the Last 8s Club with his range of tennis (and other!) stories. I spent good time with him and he signed half a dozen copies of his book in his very shaky hand-writing.
He won the U S Clay Courts in 1944 and the U S Indoors in 1946, though he only ever reached the semis at Forest Hills. Not mentioned in this book, much to the chagrin of the author, is that fact that Segura played at Wimbledon in 1946 as 4th seed and in 1947 when he lost to Drobny in the first round. He almost immediately turned professional, as he badly needed the income which was not evident as an amateur.
He joined the professional touring circuit and won the US Professional Championships 1950 to 1952, and also lost in four other finals, mostly to Gonzales. In 1962 he became the teaching professional at the Beverly Hills Tennis Club where he played with a multitude of top film stars. He also coached Stan Smith and Jimmy Connors.
Pancho never measured more than 5 feet 6 inches tall and is best remembered for his amazing bow-legs (caused by rickets as a child) and double-fisted forehand. He did reappear once more to play at Wimbledon in 1968 after the game went open when he partnered Alex Olmedo but they lost in the second round. (See Item 050 “Hey Big Boy!” by Abe Segal above)
About 3000 copies of the book were printed. Unsigned copies are offered at £20; I have two signed copies offered at £100 each.
053: ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY: a Day-by-Day Anthology of Anecdotes and Historical Happenings compiled and edited by Randy Walker; 1st USA edition of 2008 in 8vo paper covers with 520 pages.
A clever approach to tennis history in that each day in the year is marked by anniversary facts and reports about great tennis matches and other tennis happenings that have taken place in earlier years on that date. 1922 is the earliest year I can find and the considerable majority of reports is in the last 25 years. It is a great trip down memory lane for all tennis fans.
I can offer copies at £5
054: OPEN: An Autobiography by Andre Kirk Agassi written with J H Moehringer in 8vo hard boards and dust-wrapper with 388 pages.
Agassi was Australian Open champion in 1995, 2000, 2001, and 2003; French Open champion in 1999; Wimbledon champion in 1992; and US Open champion in 1994 and 1999.
This book created quite a stir in worldwide tennis circles as Agassi makes a few controversial comments and admissions, not all of which were received with universal acclaim. Centre Court fans will always remember the moment he revealed his immaculate all-white clothes on Centre Court back in 1987, after which he did not play there again until 1991.
Frustratingly the book has neither a table of chapters at the front nor an index at the back; I always take the view that an index is a most important contribution to a book’s understanding. But written almost in diary form makes this book easy to read and enjoy and he pulls few punches in his opinions of his fellow players and other important factors in his life, dealing well with the marriages.
The side story of most interest to tennis historians is that whereas the Frank Shields family was denied a Wimbledon Singles Champion (see item 044 above), they momentarily gained one by the fact that Frank’s grand-daughter Brooke married her own Wimbledon Champion i.e. Andre Agassi.
I can offer copies of this book at £10
055: PLAYER ENDORSED TENNIS RACKETS: Photo Decal Rackets; Signature Rackets, Tennis Ball Containers by Randy Crow; 1st USA small 8vo paperback edition of 2008 with 111 pages.
The racket collecting circle in the USA is very strong; Randy is a specialist in the rackets as described in the title and his recently published book illustrates every one of the rackets mentioned, all of which are in his personal collection. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Only 100 copies of this book were published and I can offer just one copy (signed by Randy Crow) at £50
056: SERENA WILLIAMS: On the Line written with Daniel Paisner; 1st USA edition of 2009 in hard boards and dust-wrapper with 257 pages. Paisner has collaborated with many athletes, actors, politicians etc. in the preparation of their memoirs.
It always seemed strange to see the Williams sisters not taking an active part in the tennis circuit over the last 12 months or so, irrespective of what good reasons there may have been. Wimbledon 2011 was certainly a leveller for both of them as, despite good results at Eastbourne and one of two tough wins in the earlier rounds at Wimbledon, they found the opposition too tough. Maybe things have moved on now and they have had their day, albeit a pretty spectacular and successful day.
This book about Serena, written with her cooperation, is as thorough a work as you will find, and this in a market where I have counted nearly 20 sub-standard titles on one or either of the sisters, or even on both of them. She has been Australian Open champion in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2010; French Open champion in 2002; Wimbledon champion in 2002, 2003, 2009, and 2010; US Open champion in 1999, 2002 and 2008.
Hers has been a tough life without early privileges and thus she and Venus have probably had to work twice as hard as their contemporaries to get where they were, i.e. top of the world. She has been quite open about her life on and off the court, and all this before the incident with the foot injury caused by broken glass. It seems she may be destined for careers either in fashion or film. She has been a worthy Wimbledon champion.
I can offer copies of this book at £15
057: TENNIS HISTORY: Professional Tournaments, Winners & Runners-Up compiled by James Henry “Jim” McManus (born 16 September 1940 died 18 January 2011). Jim spent many years researching and accumulating the records that appear in this amazing source of information and results on the men’s professional tour, and not since 1967 but actually as far back as 1877! See Jim’s obituary above.
This large 4to paperback with 436 pages details each event, the entire record is shown as to winners and runners-up for singles and doubles with the set scores. Each table of results is headed with a brief history of the event.
SECTION 1: The Tour which lists all the events still in existence.
SECTION 2: The Forgotten Past which lists all the events now discontinued.
SECTION 3: International Competitions which are the Davis, Wightman and Federation Cups as well as the Olympics.
SECTION 4: Special Events which include league competitions, World Championship Tennis, Sugar Circuit, Dewar Cup etc.
SECTION 5: Challenger Tournaments which include the lower level events.
SECTION 6: The Forgotten Challengers which lists events no longer running.
SECTION 7: Women’s Tournaments which lists the leading 12 events.
Published in a small print run of only 400 copies, all signed by Jim, I can offer just 4 copies of this book at £50
058: THE LAST CHAMPION: The Life of Fred Perry by Jon Henderson; 1st UK edition of 2009 in 8vo hard boards and dust-wrapper with 292 pages. Jon Henderson has been a sports-writer for more than 40 years and has covered every Wimbledon since 1969 as tennis correspondent for Reuters.
Frederick John Perry (born 18 May 1909 died 2 February 1995) was the man who even today remains the most famous British tennis player of the 20th century. The book was written with the co-operation of his family to celebrate the centenary of his birth. It should not be forgotten that he became World Table Tennis champion at the age of only 19, at which time he sought new fields to conquer, stumbling almost by accident over Lawn Tennis at Eastbourne.
His exploits need little repetition here but to recap he was Wimbledon champion in 1934, 1935, and 1936, Australian champion in 1934, French champion in 1935, and US champion in 1933, 1934, and 1936, He was Britain’s Davis Cup hero in epic matches against the French and the Americans, long time touring professional mainly in the USA, friend of film stars and politicians over the world, and finally BBC TV tennis guru during very many Championships.
There were other sides to his life, some of which he preferred to keep to himself. He did not endear himself to the British public when he elected to remain in the USA at the start of the 2nd World War and become a USA citizen. He was an obvious choice for a knighthood after his achievements for his country but the fact that this was denied speaks volumes.
He founded a very successful tennis clothing company whose emblem was the famous laurel wreath. And in the last years of his life he had a high public profile in relationship to his great knowledge of the game and the way he could talk on air. Any British player seeking to emulate his feats will always be compared with him, probably much to their personal annoyance.
The book is a very good study of a great man and despite the occasional fault (which we all have), nothing can take away his amazing achievements on the tennis courts and what these achievements did for the British people’s morale.
I can offer copies of this book at £15
059: YOU CAN QUOTE ME ON THAT: Greatest Tennis Quips, Insights, and Zingers compiled and edited by Paul Fein; 1st USA edition of 2005 in 8vo paper covers with 270 pages.
This unusual book contains many thousands of quotes from, by and about well-known tennis players, mostly in the modern era. Many spring out from the pages but perhaps I could be allowed to mention:
“God help her neighbours on her wedding night” by Peter Ustinov about Monica Seles.
But the majority are taken from interviews and they are sorted into logical types and themes. They make amusing and at the same time instructive reading.
I can offer copies at £5
HERE IS A TENNIS NAME AND STORY I BET NOT MANY OF YOU KNOW!
060: FROM BONN TO ATHENS SINGLE AND RETURN: The Diary of John Pius Boland, Olympic Champion Athens 1896 edited by Heiner Gillmeister Ph. D.; 1st edition of 2008 in 8vo hard pictorial boards with 322 pages and many photos.
Gillmeister has been a professor in the Bonn University Department of English, American and Celtic Studies. Besides publishing two monographs on Geoffrey Chaucer, he is also an acknowledged expert on the history of racket sports, having published Tennis: A Cultural History in 1997.
Not one tennis fan in 100 will know the name of John Mary Pius Boland (born 16 September 1870 died 17 March 1958); indeed even I was unsure of who he was until I started to receive e-mails from Gillmeister several years ago to announce his latest project. Then it all became clearer to me. Boland, an Irishman, was an inveterate Europhile who spent much time travelling from country to country.
He also kept extensive diaries/journals, but these disappeared many years ago, mysteriously resurfacing in the 1990s. Gillmeister spent much time editing them and expanding his knowledge of the many facets of Boland’s life by extensive research and this is evidenced by the very large number of additional notes etc.
In essence Boland played lawn tennis in the first of the modern Olympiads in 1896 in Greece and became the first champion at men’s singles, and shared the doubles first prize with his German partner, Friedrich Adolph Traum. In his dull moments, he was also a Member of Parliament.
In an edition of 300 copies only, I can offer copies at £50
DAVIS CUP ANNUALS
DAVIS CUP ANNUALS: in large 4to hard boards in dust-wrapper with 128 pages written over the years by a number of different authors.
Since the mid-1990s, the International Tennis Federation has published a grand prestige quality annual each year describing the Davis Cup competition of the previous year. These books are luxury editions, well texted and beautifully illustrated charting the progress of each year’s competition.
061: I can offer 9 editions for 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 each at £10
062: These quite heavy books are offered all together as a package £70
TWO FASCINATING BOOKS ABOUT THE ORIGINAL RULES OF LAWN TENNIS
Over the last twenty years I have had the privilege of trading three original copies of Major Walter Clopton Wingfield’s little paper rules book called The Game of Sphairistike or Lawn Tennis. The first edition was published in 1874, a second edition in November 1874, a third edition in June 1875, a fourth edition later in 1875, and finally the fifth edition in 1876.
Although it is clear that a large number of copies of the five editions was printed to go inside the boxes of Wingfield’s playing equipment, hardly any seem to have survived the rigours of continual reference and exposure to all weathers. Alan Little at the Wimbledon Library has managed to compile a list of all the twenty-two copies known to exist at present, together with their last known location. Of these twenty-two editions, you can see seven examples in the Wimbledon Library.
We are very keen to learn of any unlisted copies anywhere in the world, so if you know of such holdings, please do let me know. Recently two little books have been published which replicate the rules booklets and these are listed below.
By the way, I do know of a copy of this incredibly rare tennis book which might be available. Serious enquiries only please!
063: THE GAME OF SPHAIRISTIKE OR LAWN TENNIS; A facsimile of the original (1874) Rules of Tennis by Walter Wingfield (born 16 October 1833 died 18 April 1912). This title published in May 2008 by The Wimbledon Society Museum is in very small (11.75cm x 18cm) hardboards and dust-wrapper with 38 pages.
This is a facsimile reproduction of the 2nd edition of November 1874 which is owned by The Wimbledon Society Museum but is on permanent loan to the All England Club Library. This 2nd edition is much expanded since the first edition which was published before the 1874 summer season had started. Thus with the lessons and experiences gained from the first summer of play, much more content was put into the 2nd edition.
As always the book is dedicated to “The Party assembled at Nantclwyd in December 1873”, which refers to a grand house-warming party given by the new owners of Nantclwyd Hall, Major and Mrs Naylor-Leland. It has been suggested that Wingfield demonstrated a rudimentary form of his game on this occasion, but December in Wales is hardly a suitable place or time of the year for such an out-door pursuit!
The contents of this little book are:
** Wingfield’s preamble to his new game
** the playing rules 1 to 12 (l to Xll)
** a page on Handicaps
** a section called “Opinions of the Press” which consists of 12 pages of reports and reviews of the new game as published in
newspapers of the day
** then 6 pages of names of the great and the good who have purchased boxes of Wingfield’s playing equipment starting with H.R.H. The
Prince of Wales and encompassing other royalty, Dukes, Marquises, Earls, Countesses, Viscounts, Lords and Ladies, etc. etc.
This little book is offered at £6 post-free worldwide.
064: THE ORIGINAL RULES OF TENNIS with a foreword by Tim Henman and an introduction by John Barrett, in very small pictorial boards (10cm x 15.5cm) with 59 pages published by the Bodleian Library.
Did you know how much the growth of lawn tennis owes to Edwin Budding (the lawn-mower) and Charles Goodyear (vulcanised rubber for tennis balls)? I don’t think I really did either, but here is where you will find the answer. Barrett takes you through the interesting time during which the rules of our game were first tabled, how they were tried and amended/improved until by around 1880, they seemed to meet with general approval from everyone in the game.
The rules remained pretty well unchanged until the Gonzales/Passarell match in 1969 when the world realised that what was needed was the tie-break. Even today this remains an option that has to be specified in the event rules if it is to be used.
By the way it would be a mistake to assume that the entire game was “invented” by Wingfield alone; there are other names in the mix who if still alive today would make a strong claim to be ahead of Wingfield, and he might have a tough time taking all the credit.
The complete first edition of 1874 is reproduced in the book and this is followed (as a comparison) by the playing rules current today.
This charming little book is offered at £6 post-free worldwide.
TITLES ABOUT THE ALL ENGLAND LAWN TENNIS CLUB
AND THE WIMBLEDON CHAMPIONSHIPS
065: 100 WIMBLEDON CHAMPIONSHIPS: A Celebration by John Barrett; 1st edition of 1986 in large 4to hard boards and dust-wrapper with 287 pages.
John Barrett was at the time (1980) and is still today the best qualified man to write a history of the All England Club and the Championships, having been inextricably linked with both for around fifty years. The previous major post-2nd World War histories on these subjects had been written by Lance Tingay and Max Robertson, both leading journalists and historians themselves.
This magnificent book takes you through the development of the Club and the Championships as both developed together. He examines the Championships and the many champions on an era basis, such as 1877-1900, 1901-1914, 1919-1930, 1931-1939, and so on upto 1986. Each champion has a mini-biography and the highlights of each year are discussed. The book is very well illustrated with early photographs, some hardly seen in public.
This is a presentation copy from John Barrett to Max (Robertson) and it is so inscribed on the title page. It is offered at £50
066: 100 YEARS OF WIMBLEDON by Lance Oswald Tingay (born 15 July 1915 died 10 March 1990); 1st de luxe edition of 1977 in tall 4to hard boards with 256 pages. This is the special edition of 100 numbered copies presented in luxury green leatherette boards internally marbled and all page edges are gilt. The book is then contained within a de luxe marbled board slip-case. All copies are signed internally by Fred Perry.
As far as I can recall, these books were printed mainly for presentation with perhaps twenty or thirty being made available for public sale. In addition there was an additional run of copies numbered from A onwards, one of each was presented to champions who had returned to Wimbledon to take part in the Centenary celebrations in 1977.
Copy number one was presented to the Club President, HRH The Duke of Kent and copy number 2 was presented to Fred Perry, and I have that copy in my own collection.
Tingay, who was the lawn tennis correspondent of The Daily Telegraph, was delegated to write the Centenary history, not of the All England Club itself but more to be aimed at the fact that 1977 was the centenary of the Men’s Singles, although it was not in fact the hundredth time it was played owing to the intervention of two World Wars when play ceased.
With a preface by HRH The Duke of Kent, All England Club President, the book also appears in a standard edition which was a big seller during 1977 and it is a very well worked account of the high-spots in the history of the Championships since 1877. It is split into two sections, the first called ”History” across the eras, and the second called “Wimbledon Miscellany” which recounts lots of interesting facts and figures about past Championships.
This very special collectors’ edition is in beautiful condition and it is offered at £475
067 A CENTRE COURT CELEBRATION: Wimbledon 17 May 2009; the special programme published to celebrate the grand roof opening and closing day on Centre Court; issued in 4to paperback landscape with 64 pages.
It was a great day on which Tim Henman, Kim Clijsters, Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf put on a wonderful display of not-so-serious mixed doubles. The programme also contains articles on the history of Centre Court and on how the amazing roof was planned and constructed; the programme is very well illustrated.
I can offer just one copy at £15
068: A PILOT AT WIMBLEDON: The Memoirs of Air Chief Marshal Sir Brian Burnett, GCB, DFC, AFC; 1st 8vo paperback edition of 2009 with 324 pages. Sir Brian has led an extraordinary life and as I write, he is now 98 years old.
He has had many parts to his long life but first came to public attention as an exceptionally gifted squash rackets player in the late 1930s along with his brother Douglas. Brian joined the Royal Air Force in 1934 and made a speciality of long-range flying. When the 2nd World War broke out in 1939, he rapidly became a bomber commander, undertaking many daring bombing raids over Germany.
After the war, he went through a series of UK and overseas postings and gradually more important appointments until in 1970 he became Commander-in-Chief British Forces Far East Command in Singapore, serving in that important capacity until the end of 1971. On his retirement from the RAF, he resumed his involvement with the Committee of the All England Club, rising to become the chairman in 1974 and he served until 1983.
In 2009, I sat with Sir Brian while he was interviewed by Radio Wimbledon to publicise the launch of this book. It was a tour de force as he answered a wide range of personal questions about his long and action-packed life, especially listening to his exploits as a pioneer of long-range air routes to Australia and South Africa as well as a bomber commander. He only stopped playing tennis a few years ago but still takes an active interest in the affairs of the All England Club.
I can offer copies of this book at £15
069: ANYONE FOR TENNIS? Edited by Martin Smith as The Telegraph Book of Wimbledon, published in 2010 in 8vo hard boards and dust-wrapper with 434 pages. Smith was assistant sports editor at The Daily Telegraph.
This has rapidly established itself as a top tennis book. It contains the cream of reports on the Wimbledon Championships as published in The Daily Telegraph written by their wonderful lawn tennis correspondents since the first report appeared in July 1878.
The leading professional correspondents were Arthur Wallis Myers (born 24 July 1878 died 16 June 1939), John Sheldon Olliff (born 1 December 1908 died 29 June 1951), Lance Oswald Tingay (born 15 July 1915 died 10 March 1990), and John Anthony Parsons (born 20 February 1938 died 26 April 2004).
As well as their own correspondents, the Telegraph also employed top writers on a one-off basis to write features on aspects of the Championships which interested them. These correspondents included Michael Parkinson, Sebastian Faulks, Russell Davies, John McEnroe, Fred Perry, Chris Evert, Billie-Jean King, Boris Johnson, Sue Mott, Pam Shriver, Boris Becker and others.
The articles are printed in chronological order, thus you can dip in at any page and guarantee to read an interesting piece. For students of Wimbledon and the history of the Championships, this is a marvellous source of interesting features.
I can offer this excellent book at £15
070: CENTRE COURT: The Jewel in Wimbledon’s Crown edited by John Barrett and Ian Hewitt; 1st UK edition large 4to landscape in hard boards and dust-wrapper with 240 pages; with a foreword by Roger Federer.
The installation of the sliding roof which was preceded by the almost complete demolition of Centre Court may have been the catalyst for the publication of this splendid book. Here can be found a brilliantly illustrated account of the planning and construction of the court in the early 1920s; then follow brief accounts of some of the great players who have featured in thrilling matches.
Prominent amongst these players were Suzanne Lenglen and Bill Tilden, both of whom were such stars in the Championships upto 1921 that their popularity almost forced the All England Club to expand their facilities to cater for the huge crowds. And what a good decision it was to move to Wimbledon Park (now called Church Road).
The roll call of top players and matches since 1922 continues with names such as Helen Wills-Moody, Fred Perry, Maureen Connolly, Maria Bueno, Rod Laver, Margaret Court, Billie-Jean King, John Newcombe, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova and so the list continues. The book is a stunning account of life of Centre Court and will please all tennis fans.
I can offer copies of this very heavy book at £25
FIFTY YEARS OF WIMBLEDON 1877 to 1926 by Arthur Walls Myers (born 24 July 1878 died 16 June 1939) in 4to hardboards with 96 pages.
Myers was a brilliant tennis author and journalist; he was also a very competent tennis player, who founded the prestigious International Lawn Tennis Club and became its first president. When the celebrations for the first 50 years of the Wimbledon Championships came along in 1926, he was an obvious choice to write the book.
The book therefore is one of the earliest histories about the All England Club and the Wimbledon Championships wherein he recounts the stories of the invention of the game and its various parts and then details the stories of the many champions who have triumphed on the courts at Worple Road upto 1921 and then at Church Road.
The book is very well illustrated with photographs of many of the iconic names who have gone into history as the early stars of the game and photographs of players on the first and original Centre Court from which it is easy to understand why the Club felt that they needed larger premises to cope with the huge crowds clamouring for entry. Things have not changed that much today!
The book was published in two editions as follows:
071: The de luxe edition in green leatherette boards; this copy with frayed edges and spine mostly lacking at £50
072: A very good condition copy of the standard edition in decorative boards at £40
073: HOLDING COURT: Inside the Gates of the Wimbledon Championships by Christopher Gorringe; 1st UK edition of 2009 in 8vo hard boards and dust-wrapper with 264 pages.
Chris was at the helm of the All England Club from his appointment as Assistant Secretary to David Mills in 1974, then as Secretary in 1979, and finally as Chief Executive in 1983 until he retired in 2005.
That period was an incredibly hectic time encompassing many large developments in the lay-out of the Club including the demolition of the old No 1 Court and the construction of the Millennium Building which contains the Press Centre, the Players’ Complex and the Members’ Enclosures. And he was in office throughout the whole period of the construction of the wonderful new No. 1 court.
Chris reviews and describes various aspects of his role at the Club, he talks about some of the leading players and the problems they can sometimes cause, how the Club promotes itself worldwide during the Championships, international relationships with other tennis governing bodies, how the income from the Championships is spent, and finally he talks about the several chairmen under whom he has worked.
I can offer copies either signed by Chris Gorringe or unsigned (please specify) at £10
074: WIMBLEDON: 101 Reasons to Love the Greatest Tournament in Tennis by David Green; in broad 8vo hard boards and dust-wrapper with 128 pages.
This new book, published in the summer, is a photographic study of the Championships written by an American; the book takes us on an engaging canter through Wimbledon history with one-page studies on many of the leading players of all eras. The photographs are expertly taken by a range of photographers.
This book is offered at £15
075: WIMBLEDON: A Short History of Tennis, The Club, The Championships, The Village compiled by Cameron Brown; updated small paperback edition of 2011 with 96 pages. Published in a print run of only 250 copies.
Originally published in 2005, this has been a major seller at my recent exhibitions, primarily for the young but it has an appeal for all ages. It consists of a huge number of short facts and figures about many aspects of Wimbledon, mostly distilled from the Wimbledon Compendium. It is a marvellous source of interesting stuff into which you can dip at random.
I can offer copies of this book at £5
WIMBLEDON OFFICIAL ANNUALS 1983 TO 2011: large 4to hard boards and dust-wrapper with 128 pages.
When it was first published in 1983, perhaps only 3000 copies were printed and it sold poorly to the extent that unsold copies were pulped. It was not until the late 1980s that interest in acquiring the whole run first emerged and this had the twin effect of forcing up the price of the earlier editions and increasing the print run of the later editions.
Initially the annuals were written by John Parsons of The Daily Telegraph until 2003 and since then by Neil Harman of The Times.
The books portray the Championships on a day-by-day basis and it is beautifully illustrated with many colour photographs. At the end is the complete run of completed draw sheets for each of the constituent events.
I can offer editions as follows:
076: 1983 at £100; 1984 at £50
077: 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 each at £5
078: the 2011 edition due for publication some time in October; orders taken now at £22
079: WIMBLEDON COMPENDIUM 2011 compiled by Alan Little; in 8vo paper covers with 552 pages. According to my records this is the 21st edition.
It gets bigger and better every year and it remains a challenge to me each year to try to spot errors etc. Here can be found a plethora of information, facts and figures about the growth of the All England Club (founded in 1868) and its famous Championships (inaugurated in 1877). If you want to know about the longest, shortest, fastest, slowest, oldest, youngest, left-handed, double-fisted, tallest, whatever the question here is where you need to look.
I can offer copies of this essential book for all tennis fans at £15
080: WIMBLEDON 2011 FINAL EDITION PROGRAMME: This is the much collected edition of this year’s programme which lists the full results for every event played during the Championships. This is generally a fairly short print run; collecting final editions is a popular side of the business.
It is a large magazine with 128 pages containing information and articles about the players. I can offer copies at £15
081: WIMBLEDON FINAL EDITION PROGRAMMES: I can currently offer the following editions each at £10
1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978
1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989
1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999
2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
081: WIMBLEDON: Visions of the Championships edited by Ian Hewitt and Bob Martin; 1st UK edition of 2011 in large 4to hard boards and dust-wrapper with 256 pages presented in landscape format.
Hewitt is a lawyer and committee member of the All England Club; Martin co-ordinates the official photography during the Championships and is a renowned prize-winning sports photographer.
With a foreword by Tim Henman, this substantial new book is a considerable store of colour photographs showing the huge range of sights and views within the Club demonstrating the many facets of the event and what happens behind the scenes as well as in public view.
Here can be seen just how the staff do their jobs, and how the crowds entertain themselves while not watching the tennis. There are many on-court views often from quirky angles but added together these marvellous images make up a splendid record of what is still the best run sports event anywhere in the world…you read it here!
I can offer copies of this large heavy book at £25
082: THE LAWN TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP MEETING 1922 SATURDAY JULY 8th: This is the first year that the Championships had been played at the new Church Road ground, here called “Wimbledon Park”. The weather that year was awful. Only the new Centre Court had tarpaulins and it rained each day. The outside courts became a quagmire! The Fortnight was extended to the third Wednesday.
The order of play in this very rare programme included the Men’s Doubles semi-finals and then the Women’s Singles final between Mlle. S. Lenglen and Mrs. Mallory. Suzanne won 6-2 6-1.
This edition is largely disbound and there are a few ink-written results. It is offered at £250
083: THE LAWN TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP MEETING 1929 THURSDAY JUNE 27th: thus the 4th day in a year when Henri Cochet and Helen Wills were champions. This edition is fragile with some separation of the covers from the spine. There is also a quantity of ink-written results. It is offered at £25
084: THE LAWN TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP MEETING 1932 WEDNESDAY JUNE 29th: thus the 9th day in a year when Ellsworth Vines and Helen Wills-Moody were champions. This edition is fragile with front and rear covers separated. It is offered at £25
FRENCH OPEN ANNUALS FROM ROLAND GARROS
As far as I can tell, Roland Garros annuals started in 1984. Initially written by several French journalists, from 1991 to 2008 it was written by Patrice Dominguez whose proud boast was that he could deliver the first copies to me at Wimbledon in the middle weekend of the Championships, the French Open only having finished three or four weeks earlier!
These annuals are very heavily slanted towards photography rather than text. And the quality of the photographs is very high. Early annuals were large 4to in hard pictorial boards; later editions are presented in landscape format with the annuals in a box varying in size over the years.
The following editions are still sealed into their original clear polythene wrappers so I assume them to be in mint condition.
085: Editions for 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 each is offered at £35
A SMALL SELECTION OF UNUSUAL TENNIS TITLES
086: TENNIS AND THE NEWPORT CASINO by the staff of the International Tennis Hall of Fame; 1st paperback edition in broad 8vo paper covers with 128 pages.
The Newport Casino is famous as being the venue of a grass court tennis championship in July, the home of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, the site of the marvellous tennis Museum and Library, and the site of a very old Real/Court Tennis Club.
Opened in 1880, the Newport Casino was the brain-child of James Gordon Bennett (born 10 May 1841 died 14 May 1918), the publisher of the New York Herald. It is a masterpiece of Victorian elegance which is maintained today much as it was 130 years ago. The US National Championships were held there from 1881 to 1914. Real/Court tennis is still played there and the court is used for international and national events.
The famed tennis Museum and Library are located there housing massive collections of tennis artefacts and literature. Annual inductions of leading personalities in tennis into the Tennis Hall of Fame take place at the Casino. The book tells all these stories illustrated with lots of photographs.
Copies are available direct from the Hall of Fame at www.tennisfame.com
087: TENIS CLUB ARGENTINO: 80 Anos de un Estilo de Vida 1913-1993 1st edition of 1993 in folio size hard boards and dust-wrapper with 146 pages; with a foreword by club president Enrique Morea (born 11 April 1924), who played Davis Cup for Argentina.
This is a most prestigious tennis club in Buenos Aires which has been a leader in Argentina of the game and its development for as long as it has existed. This beautifully illustrated history has some stunning views of the club facilities in the 1930s and in later decades. Many globally famous players have played on the courts and the standard of members’ play is high with national honours being awarded. (Note that the Spanish for tennis is tenis)
This beautiful large book is offered at £50
088: THE FITZWILLIAM STORY 1877-1977 by Ulick O’Connor; 1st edition of 1977 in 4to hard boards with 92 pages. O’Connor (born 1928) is a writer and playwright known for his biography of Brendan Behan.
I believe the club is accepted as being the oldest established lawn tennis club in Ireland; in its first year it was known as the Dublin Lawn Tennis Club. The book notes that the club steward had as one of his duties the hand-stitching of tennis balls which had been damaged by over-enthusiastic tennis players. I was not aware that hand-made balls were being used at that time.
The first Irish Championships were played at the club in June 1879 and included a Ladies’ Singles five years before one was instituted at Wimbledon. The book continues to chart the progress of the club, its growing membership, the Irish Open and the great names who played in the event. Several great Irish players made their mark at Wimbledon, and many great Wimbledon champions have won the Irish Open. (See the next item which is an engraving of the Irish Open in 1884.)
And it is not just lawn tennis that takes place here. Squash Rackets has formed an important part of the club’s heritage and this is described in the book along with an impressive list of Irish international cap winners.
The book rarely appears as I suspect it was a small print run. This very nice copy is offered at £50
089: NOTES AT THE LAWN-TENNIS MEETING FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP OF IRELAND AT DUBLIN from The Graphic dated June 21, 1884.
This is a full and original sheet (28.5cm x 41cm; image size 22cm x 30cm) from The Graphic showing several vignette scenes of prominent people at the Irish Open being played on the grounds of the Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club.
This item is ready for mounting/matting and framing behind glass and is offered at £20
090: THE LOVE GAME: Being the Life-Story of Marcelle Penrose by Suzanne Rachel Fleur/Flore Lenglen (born 24 May 1999 died 4 July 1938); 1st UK edition of 1925 in 8vo hard boards with 301 pages.
This is Suzanne’s only venture into tennis fiction, perhaps inspired by Tilden’s many novelettes as shown above. I have no information on who helped her write this book; I am pretty sure it is not entirely her own work.
There is internet information suggesting it was published on 4 May 1925 in conjunction with the English newspaper The Daily News. And bizarrely I have seen copies in German called Spiel um LIebe and it appears in Hungarian as Sport es Szerelem, but so far I have found no trace of an edition in French.
Marcelle Penrose is a French tennis player and the novel recounts her many trials and tribulations both on and off the court. Much of the action takes place in and around London amongst a rather high-society group of people, not unlike those with whom Suzanne regularly mixed on the Riviera.
The book is very rare, this being I think my second copy in 25 years. It is offered in nice condition at £130
091: WHEN SPRINGBOKS LEAP THE NET: The Dramatic History of South Africa in Davis Cup Tennis by Louis Duffus; 1st edition South Africa of 1968 in small 8vo paper covers with 104 pages.
Published just before the start of apartheid, such books did not often appear outside South Africa and were thus subject to quite small print-runs. This book recounts the history of South Africa in the Davis Cup competition since the first match they played in 1913. It seems that they actually first entered in 1911 but did not play. And they were ejected from the Davis Cup in 1970.
This book is an excellent study of the country’s performance in the Davis Cup and it is well illustrated with photographs going back to 1913. Many exciting matches are described and the players on whose shoulders the country’s tennis progress rested are well documented. At the end of the book is a full analysis of Davis Cup ties played by South Africa up to and including 1967.
I can offer this historical book in very nice condition at £35
092: WINCHESTER TENNIS & SQUASH CLUB: a Historical Record 1906-1992 by Bernard Mussell; 1st UK edition of 1994 in large 4to hard boards and dust-wrapper with 108 pages.
“These records have been compiled to give due prominence to the part which the Winchester Tennis and Squash Club, since its inception in 1906, has played in the sporting and social life of the City of Winchester.” That sets out the purpose of the book which it achieves with great effect.
On a year by year basis, the major happenings at the club are detailed with the names of the personalities who have contributed to the club’s prominence. Then there are surveys of the various sports and pastimes which take place at the club and finally a complete record of all club championships.
This is a book for which I have been asked several time and it is very scarce; it is offered at £40
EARLY 1900s COACHING CLASSICS BARGAIN CORNER
VERY GOOD READING COPIES
The following books are from the very early part of the twentieth century when a small number of great writers and tennis experts published several truly memorable tennis coaching manuals and histories. These are amongst the most collectable classic titles in the tennis bibliography, and generally they command prices of between £100 and £300, that is when they are in collectable condition. These are slightly below what I generally classify as acceptable condition but nevertheless they are complete and almost up to the mark. They are quite substantial books very well illustrated with photographs of the top players of the late Victorian period.
GREAT LAWN TENNIS PLAYERS: Their Methods Illustrated by George William Beldam (born 1 May 1868 died 23 November 1937) and Pembroke Arnold Vaile (born 1866 died ??); 1st UK edition of 1905 in large 8vo hard boards with 403 pages and illustrated by 229 action photographs. Beldam was the photographer who took these wonderful action shots of a huge number of leading players of that late Victorian period, many of whose names are legends even today, more than a century later.
Its twenty-one chapters cover every shot in the game with text and photos and the photos really have to be seen! I guess in those days the subject of the photo still had to hold his/her position for a few seconds in order (ut) to get the shot. There is also a chapter called “Olla Podrida”; this is a new expression to me which appears to be the Spanish for a highly seasoned stew of meat and vegetables! Fortunately it has a secondary meaning which can be clutter, melange, muddle, or variety. The message in this chapter therefore is don’t fill your brain with too much coaching advice or you will overwhelm the brain and confuse your feet.
093: This is a nice copy with an internal previous owner’s inscription offered at £45
094: A copy of the reissued edition of 1907 with slightly torn and stained spine offered at £35
LAWN TENNIS AT HOME & ABROAD edited by Arthur Wallis Myers (born 24 July 1878 died 16 June 1939); 1st UK edition of 1903 in lovely 8vo decorative boards with 328 pages.
This is the first lawn tennis history published in the twentieth century. Myers was an excellent writer and extremely knowledgeable about the game being a very competent player who loved to travel abroad especially into mainland Europe and play wherever he could. Thus much of what he writes about non-GB tennis is gained from personal experience.
Besides writing much of the material himself, he also edited further contributions by tennis players such as Harold Segerson Mahony (born 13 February 1867 died 27 June 1905), H.S. Scrivener, George Whiteside Hillyard (born 6 February 1864 died 23 March 1943), Mrs. Sterry (Charlotte Reinagle Cooper born 22 September 1870 died 10 October 1966), and other authorities on the game. These included Holcombe Ward (born 23 November 1878 died 23 January 1967), J.M. Flavelle, R.B. Hough, Leslie Oswald Sheridan Poidevin (born 1876 died November 1931) and P.G. Pearson.
The ten chapters are about the competitive game around the world, starting off with lawn tennis at home i.e. the Wimbledon Championships, the Irish, Welsh and Scottish Championships, the all-important Varsity (university) tennis scene, and then the other leading events such as Eastbourne and Edgbaston.
The other writers comment on covered courts, the ladies’ game, current top players, the American game, the game in Europe, and finally the game in Australasia and India. There are a great many photographic plates almost all of them showing top players of the period; indeed it is probably the best source of images of circa 1900 players anywhere in the world.
095: This copy is in very nice condition and is offered at £45
LAWN TENNIS: ITS PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE by Jahial Parmly Paret (born 1870 died 1957) 1st USA edition of 1904 in small 8vo hard boards with 419 pages. Added to this book is a chapter on Lacrosse by William Harvey Maddren (died 8 January 1909). Paret was an American writer and tennis player of note, and he has many tennis coaching manuals to his name in the early part of the twentieth century both in the USA and in England.
This book is in four parts and then the Lacrosse part. The four parts are the History of Lawn Tennis, Methods of Play, The Physiological Side of the Game, and the Lawn Tennis Encyclopaedia. His writings on the early days are fascinating especially in that he strongly suggests that Wingfield was by no means the first to play the game which at the time of writing was only 30 years old. This book holds what surely is the first detailed history of the Davis Cup.
As with other books of this vintage, it is illustrated with many photographs of the leading players of the day playing the various shots. It is thus a treasure trove for the historian of early lawn tennis.
096: This copy is ex-lib but with only minor markings and it is offered at £45
MODERN TENNIS by Pembroke Arnold (aka Adolphus) Vaile (born 1866 died ??) 2nd USA edition of 1915 in small 8vo hard boards with 317 pages; with an introduction by Maxime Omer Decugis (born 23 September 1882 died 6 September 1978; eight times winner of the French Open). Vaile was a keen student of lawn tennis and golf and wrote several books on both. His first major title was GREAT LAWN TENNIS PLAYERS which is offered at item 093.
Vaile wrote the most amazing technical coaching manuals on both his major sports. He analyses and describes every single recognised tennis shot in great detail and illustrates many of them with photographs of himself playing the shots. He goes on to discuss tournament play, umpiring, tennis in England, tennis personalities, the laws of play and how to run tournaments.
097: This iconic coaching title is in very good condition and is offered at £45
R.F & H.L DOHERTY ON LAWN TENNIS by Reginald Frank Doherty (born 14 October 1872 died 29 December 1910) and Hugh Laurence Doherty (born 8 October 1875 died 21 August 1919); 1st UK edition of 1903 in 8vo hard boards with 146 pages. The brothers were multiple Wimbledon champions in both the Men’s Singles and Doubles.
This is the first coaching manual of the twentieth century; it is illustrated with some very awkward-looking posed shots of the brothers. It has ten chapters and a number of appendices. The chapters discuss the strokes, singles, doubles, hints on practice, notes for beginners, play in America, ladies play, grass courts, lawn tennis compared with other games by Eustace Miles (born 22 September 1868 died 20 June 1948), lists of champions, rules etc.
As the first coaching book of the twentieth century, it has an added importance in the lawn tennis bibliography and it was written jointly by two of the best tennis players who were born in Great Britain.
098: This copy is bit grubby externally but otherwise it is very fairly priced at £45
TENNIS: LAWN TENNIS: RACKETS: FIVES in the Badminton Library series; several editions in small 8vo boards with c490 pages. Authors are John Moyer Heathcote (born 12 July 1834 died 3 January 1912) for Tennis; Charles G Heathcote for Lawn Tennis, E O P Bouverie for Rackets; and Arthur Campbell Ainger (born 4 July 1841 died 26 October 1919) for Fives.
This is part of a grand series of about 30 volumes on field and athletic sports published towards the end of the nineteenth century under the general editorship of the Duke of Beaufort after whose estate the books are generically named i.e. Badminton, though the game of Badminton is not mentioned. The book is beautifully illustrated with vignette engravings by Lucien Davis, by line engravings and some photos.
Each of the four sports here is covered enthusiastically by their authors who describe the early history of the game, the court and equipment, the laws, hints to beginners, and records of great matches. The first edition was in 1890 and I usually consider this to be the first true history of Lawn Tennis as it was published just 16 years after the game was invented. It is also one of the very few books on the game of Rackets/Racquets, a very popular game at that time.
099: The 1st de luxe edition of 1890 in leather and buckram boards in good condition offered at £45
100: The 1st standard edition of 1890 in brown decorative boards in good condition offered at £45
101: The 2nd de luxe edition of 1891 in leather and buckram boards in good condition offered at £45
102: The 3rd de luxe edition of 1894 in leather and buckram boards in good condition offered at £45
103: The 4th standard edition of 1897 in very good condition offered at £45
104: The new standard edition of 1903 in very good condition offered at £45
105: The new standard impression of 1908 in very good condition offered at £45
106: The very rare large paper de luxe edition (250 numbered copies only) of 1890 in leather and buckram boards offered at £425
item 001: MANSOUR BAHRAMI: The Man Behind the Moustache