The Padwick “Bibliography” – It’s Genesis

Published: 2002
Pages: 32
Author: Rosenwater, Irving
Publisher: Christopher Saunders
Rating: 3.5 stars

I had been buying cricket books for several years before it occurred to me that I needed to pick up a copy of Padwick. The original book is a sturdy tome, published in 1977 and covering cricket literature published up until the end of 1973.

A second edition, seven years later, enlarged that initial book and took the cut off date up to the end of 1979. That was followed by a third book, a little confusingly known as Padwick 2, that appeared in 1991. That book was not the work of EW ‘Tim’ Padwick but of Stephen Eley and Peter Griffiths. It included entries that had eluded Padwick himself, but that apart simply recorded those many titles that appeared through the 1980s.

It was a quarter of a century after the first edition appeared that Irving Rosenwater decided the story of the book itself would be an appropriate subject to record for posterity and, with perhaps the only criticism being that he rather downplayed his own involvement in the project, he tells what is, to anyone who has ever consulted Padwick in any of its forms, an interesting story.

There had been bibliographies before Padwick, but none with any sort of pretension to being comprehensive and in any event all were out of date before, as long ago as 1946, The Cricket Society decided the project had to be tackled. From there the project limped along with many being involved in collecting data, but despite much work being done not getting very far.

Eventually wise counsel prevailed and The Library Association were invited to bring their expertise to bear on the subject and whilst progress remained slow in time Tim Padwick was appointed as the man to finish the task, and he duly did.

Before I picked up the monograph I had, only just, heard of the well known collector of the early twentieth century, Thomas Padwick, and did know that Tim was not related to him. What I had not realised was that Tim Padwick, whilst of course a great book lover and professional ‘bookman’, had no particular interest in either cricket or its literature.

In years to come nothing of note is going to turn on how cricket’s bibliography came into being, but it remains a matter of interest and the story would inevitably have been lost had Rosenwater not taken the trouble to reduce it into writing and accordingly for the true bibliophile, a term which includes anyone with an interest in Rosenwater’s writing, this one is a gem.

And what has happened after 2002? In Australia in 2008 Stephen Gibbs, who had already produced a couple of compilations of items ‘Not in Padwick’ took the series on again with Post Padwick, a hugely useful addition but so large and unwieldy that a successor volume is surely out of the question. If the game is to ever again boast a comprehensive bibliography it will surely only be done with an electronic subscription based model.

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