book_reviews_banner_image-81x81 A BIBLIOPHILE'S BLOG ico-h1 CRICKET BOOKS

Pamphlets and Programmes of the 1932/33 MCC tour to Australia and New Zealand

Published: 2006
Pages: 97
Author: Ramsbottom, Roy
Publisher: Ramsbottom, Roy
Rating: 3.5 stars

Roy Ramsbottom was an accountant from Cheshire. Sadly he died just as this self-published little book appeared in 2006 in a limited edition of only fifty copies. He was, of course, a great collector himself with an extensive cricket library, but his particular area of interest was one he shared with many others, the ‘Bodyline’ series of 1932/33. During his lifetime he managed to acquire an extensive library of the many publications that record aspects of that famous contest.

Having made the comment I do above I should remind myself of the piece of wisdom that appears on Ramsbottom’s limitation page, that a bibliography is just a work in progress. Immediately after that he makes it clear that his work did not claim to be comprehensive, and indeed he expressed the hope that one day there may be a need for a second edition, although I am not aware of anything previously unknown having surfaced since the book appeared.

So what does the book contain? Each of 45 different publications are profiled. There is a full page colour illustration of each of them together with bibliographical details and, most helpfully, Ramsbottom’s notes adding various snippets of information and his impression of the rarity of the item. I should perhaps stress that none of the full length books on the tour are referenced. All of those, much less ephemeral by nature, are considerably easier to acquire than any of these 45 items. For those interested the split is 23 pre tour brochures, 12 issued during the series and 10 that were published in the immediate aftermath.

One or two of the items are relatively common. There is, of course, an Arthur Mailey cartoon book, and the booklet issued by the Orient Line that profiles the tourists is seen on the market reasonably frequently (although not always with the Bill Bowes insert that was hastily produced after the Yorkshire pace bowler’s late call up). It is interesting to note that of the post tour items (three of which relate to the New Zealand leg of the tour) the six published in Australia all condemned the English tactics. The only one of these that was published in England was a humorous poem!

As something of a ‘Bodyline’ enthusiast myself I have to confess to much enjoying this one, although I acknowledge that it will inevitably have limited appeal. I am also pleased to report, in case this of concern to those who are tempted to try and track down a copy, that I do not as a result of reading Pamphlets and Programmes of the 1932/33 MCC tour to Australia and New Zealand feel the need to go out and add to the collection of eleven of the items that I have in my own library, well not a desperate need anyway!


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