Victor Trumper and the Golden Age of Australian CricketArchie Mac |
Author: Lloyd, Peter and Schofield, Peter
Rating: 5 stars
There is only one negative when it comes to this publication and that is not enough people will have the opportunity to enjoy it. Only 110 copies were printed and of those no more than 100 were for sale. The book was issued from a subscriber list which was filled well before publication.
This book has everything lovers of the Golden Age of cricket could ask for. Superbly written, I could find only one tiny typographical error, tremendous production values and stupendous research. The authors are clearly well connected in the cricket world, both knowledge and collector wise. Some of the photos contained in this book will be new to even a veteran cricket book reader.
The book covers Trumper’s life from his early days until his untimely death. What sets it apart is the information on collectables from the period of Trumper’s career. Beautifully produced image after image, from cigarette cards to postcards, to stamps and just about anything else you could think of. Apart from the quality illustrations, the authors provide details on price, scarcity and manufacturers on the majority of images displayed. The word ‘evocative’ is used extensively, however it’s hard to argue, because of the class of the photos produced.
The authors, where possible, have even tracked down original scorebooks, a number of photos are included, to confirm boundaries and totals. They are also prepared to identify where previous, writers/historians have facts wrong. This is quite a regular occurrence, although the authors are never harsh, instead they simply acknowledge the errors made.
Apart from the coverage, as the title indicates, many other luminaries as well as lesser lights are covered. As is often the way, for the hardened cricket book reader, it’s the lesser lights whose stories are of most interest. It will be especially appreciated that even though Trumper did not make the 1912 triangular tournament, it, as well as the collectables from that trip are covered in detail.
Some books, with high production values, often skimp on the quality of the text. This is not the case with this tome. The text is of a high scholarly level and as with all such writing I found myself occasionally reaching for the dictionary, or as with most people these days, Google.
We usually don’t give a five star rating to a book without an index, however given the sheer scope and quality, it would be churlish not to award it the maximum rating. So the only thing that in the end disappoints is the fact so few can enjoy – Victor Trumper and the Golden Age of Australian Cricket. This seems such a shame and I wonder if the authors, considering the book was published over 12 months ago, will put out an electronic version. I am sure it will sell extremely well and they will receive wider praise, as their work so richly deserves.
Apart from Trumper the authors have released a book on Bradman. Again it is superably produced in a strictly limited edition. One of the authors – Peter Lloyd, is currently writing a biography of Warren Bardsley. I have already put in my request for one of the limited numbers that is planned to be produced on one of the finest left handed Australian openers.