Notable Cricketers of TaysideMartin Chandler |
Author: Miller, Richard (Editor)
Rating: 3 stars
With the next six of Richard Miller’s booklets due any day, I have now had a chance to read through the last of the first set. Reviews of booklets one, two, three, four and five have already appeared.
The sixth in the series is a little different from its predecessors. In it we are taken back to the cricket season of 1893, a summer when the Evening Telegraph in Dundee ran a series of profiles of prominent local cricketers. Altogether there are 46 of them, so none are overly long. Some are really quite short, but others stretch to a couple of A5 pages, and all are accompanied by a rudimentary sketch of the player concerned, the use of photographs in newspapers being rare in those days.
The names of the 46 will be recognised only by scholars of Scottish cricket history, save for a few names that are easily recognisable to those who have read the first five booklets.
Those who start at the beginning of the book, with Richard Miller’s splendid introduction, will not expect too much, as Richard warns that the profiles have a tendency to be bland and contain the same platitudes. That is fair comment, as the reader learns little of the men and their lives outside the game. That being the case in some ways the uninitiated perhaps benefit rather more than the aficionados. Certainly in my case my understanding of the way the game was organised in the area in Victorian times is still fairly basic, but continues to grow with each succeeding booklet. For those who are serious students of the Scottish game there is still plenty of detail in the profiles to keep them interested.
All in all Notable Cricketers of Tayside may not be the most exciting of reads, but nonetheless it is an interesting period piece, and the work that has gone into putting the articles into a form that is readily accessible to 21st century readers was certainly time well spent. I understand from Richard that there are one or two copies of the booklets left. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org