The English Cricketers Trip to Canada and the United States

Published: 1860
Pages: 79
Author: Lillywhite, Fred
Publisher: Fred Lillywhite
Rating: 3 stars

I must confess I read this little book on my mobile phone. Not as treacherous as a Kindle but still duplicitous given the undertaking that Mr Chandler and I made that neither of us would review an electronic book. In defence, I do have the original book and only read it on the phone due to the fragile condition of the pages.

While I am being honest, I will also admit that I enjoyed the experience. No need to remember the page you are on and instant access to the meaning of any word you desire. Don’t worry though Martin, I am not ready to join the dark side and purchase a Kindle just yet.

There is something a little incongruous about reading the oldest of all cricket tour books on a modern device, although you can imagine that the author Fred Lillywhite would have embraced the new technology immediately. After all he was so keen on technology that he hauled his printing press around Canada and the United States and was described as a cricketing entrepreneur.

Fred, though he came from cricketing royalty, was not known as a cricketer and was described as the manager of the 1860 tour. The players he organised were the who’s who of the best cricketers in England and had no difficulty defeating the best the Canadians and Americans could pit against them. So strong were the tourists that they played every match against odds, with the opposition always playing 22.

Details of the cricket matches are not the best, with Fred much more interested in detailing the speeches made at what seem lavish dinners for the tourists. He also focuses on the trip to and from England, which were rough crossings and nothing like the leisurely cruise that modern ships provide. Fred also focuses on the poor manners of the American porters and the mostly disappointing service the tourists receive throughout the United States.

Fred’s little book is a much sort after collector’s item, although all in all, not a book that most will find of interest. If you really want to read it, you can pick up an electronic copy for free. The electronic book includes an introduction by Scott Reeves who also recently wrote a full account of the tour The Champion Band which Cricket Web can recommend.

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