Albert Craig, Revisited

Published: 2020
Pages: 57
Author: Laughton, Tony
Publisher: Boundary Books
Rating: 3.5 stars

Tony Laughton’s original book, Captain of The Crowd, to which this is basically an addendum, received five stars, partly due to the quality and extensive research carried out by Laughton. The fact that so much new information has come to light due to digitisation of so many newspapers, makes this book an advertisement for technology.

Ideally, Laughton would have just re-released Captain of The Crowd in an enlarged and revised edition. The reason this did not happen, you would assume, is due to financial constraints. After all, even after his seminal original work on Albert Craig, not too many people would know who the Surrey Poet was.

Instead of a revised edition we have Albert Craig, Revisited, still enjoyable, but much more of a fact finding exercise.

The book is set out in chronological order, with each year as a heading, and it is quite amazing just how many new entries the author has discovered. Some of these discoveries not only shed light on the movements of Craig but also a number of new poems have been revealed. One of the most impressive finds was a complete hand written poem discovered by cricket historian David Frith in the Worcestershire Archives. A full colour reproduction of the poem – Evesham Lady – is included in the book.

Albert Craig, Revisited, does provide a greater insight into contemporary views of Craig. Examples of his ability to calm an unruly crowd or to deal with hecklers, help to provide a more intimate image of Craig.

The only real criticism of this book, apart from wanting a revised and enlarge edition, was that the fine writing of Laughton is not really on display. He merely, for the most part, edits the book.

It goes without saying that there is no point reading Albert Craig, Revisited, unless you have previously read Captain of The Crowd, and ideally it would be best to read them one after the other.

Albert Craig, Revisited comes in a limited edition of just 50 signed copies. 


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