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  • Recent Books
  • Robert Laurie, David McKitterick, Nicolas Bell, Roger Gaskell, John L. Flood, and Neil Harris
Baily's Magazine of Sports and Pastimes: An Index and Bibliography. By Chris Harte. Carmarthen: Sports History Publishing. 2017. 380 pp. £30. isbn 978 1 898010 09 8. Available from the author (with £3 inland postage), Braemar House, St David's Avenue, Carmarthen, sa31 sdn.

Between March 1860 and June 1926, 796 illustrated monthly issues of the London-based Baily's Magazine of Sports and Pastimes appeared in 125 volumes. No indoor pastimes were covered by Baily's. The sports covered were generally those needing considerable wealth to indulge in, such as hunting and horse-racing. Cricket was covered, but the working man's football was ignored and motoring was eventually to make an appearance. A curious feature of the magazine was that until 1889 each volume contained seven numbers, resulting in each volume commencing with a different month for seven years. Profiles of sportsmen, discussions about breeding polo ponies, and stirring accounts of wolf-hunting in Normandy were supplemented by serial fiction and verse on relevant topics. The introduction which deals with the history of Baily's takes the form of a long extract from the magazine's final issue with a few additions by Harte, a former sports-writer and now an enthusiastic sports historian. His later postscript outlines the sometimes fraught history of the Baily family business. There is also an 1891 extract from Baily's concerning earlier sporting periodicals. Changes to the magazine's format and contents are recorded in brief notes at the appropriate points in the index. Despite the title, this book is not an index. It is simply a massive chronological listing of contents and illustrations with the addition of identifying where possible the internal and external authors behind the pseudonyms and abbreviations. Comparing Harte's Index with the original we can see from the April 1871 issue that he helpfully identifies the pseudonyms of 'Old Calabar' as the suitably aristocratic Theobald de Vismes and the poet 'Amphion' as the scarcely better known George Tyrrell. Less helpfully he abbreviates an article's original title of 'William Mortimer: The Master of Old Surrey' to the much less useful 'Portrait and Biography—William Mortimer'. A monograph on the principal writers in the magazine is promised. The lack of an index means that Harte's massive labours are somewhat difficult to access. Anyone interested in the poetry of hunting or hoping to use Baily's to trace the rise of golf will find much material of interest, but will have to do almost as much work as flicking through the actual volumes.

Cambridge
Robert Laurie

John Sparrow, Warden of All Souls College, Oxford. By Peter Raina. Oxford: Peter Lang. 2017. xxiii + 806 pp. £80.34. isbn 978 1 78707 506 1.

In 1963 John Sparrow delivered the Sandars lectures in bibliography at Cambridge. The resulting book, copiously illustrated, was published by Cambridge University Press in 1969 as Visible Words. The lectures were drawn from his own travels, especially in Italy, and very largely from books on his own shelves. It reveals a person who barely appears in the present book, which gives few details of his book collecting or its scholarly range beyond an enthusiasm for A. E. Housman. Yet collecting dominated many of his leisure hours, whether finding and swapping books with his friends (he could be a generous donor), or adding to the shelves of books bound in limp [End Page 97] vellum, many in neo-Latin, for which he had a particular attachment. His quest for multiple copies of Mark Pattison's Memoirs was towards a project that was never completed but emerged a little in his Clark lectures on Mark Pattison and the Idea of a University. Raina's book is part biography, and part a selection of letters, many of them trivial. It traverses some familiar ground, notably the Lady Chatterley trial and debates about the place of All Souls in modern Oxford. But those who expect to learn about bibliophily, or indeed some of his closest friends, will be disappointed. He himself would have been more than...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1744-8581
Print ISSN
0024-2160
Pages
pp. 97-107
Launched on MUSE
2018-02-22
Open Access
No
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