This curious and amusing period piece includes insights into "cricket and shooting; pedestrian, equestrian, rifle and pistol doings; lion hunting and deer stalking", all apparently written by contemporary 1860s "Celebrated Sportsmen" - together with "hitherto unpublished anecdotes of the nineteenth century, from George IV to the sweep". 'Edited' (but more probably written) by C. A Wheeler. At the back the book contains a list of the matches played in by W.G. Grace and his score in each innings for the season 1860 to 1868.
Charles Dickens wrote a short note to the author in 1867, regretting his failure to subscribe to the book = but otherwise, apart from the author's own address given as 'Swindon, Wilts' at the end of the Introduction, there are no details about Mr Wheeler. His initials, however, presumably suggested the rather charming motif of a crow which appears on the title page of the book.
Our book is in good condition for its age, bound in dull red cloth with a gilt illustration on the front cover (somewhat faded & stained), and gilt title & illustrations on the spine (badly faded). The covers have bevelled edges, and a double-line impressed border to front and back. All corners are bumped, but with minimal frank damage, and there is some shelf wear to top & bottom of the spine. Inside, the binding is firm, with no loose pages. Endpapers are intact but grubby, and a bookseller's yellow label is pasted at the top of the front cover. One or two pencil marks indicate previous prices and bookseller details. A curiousity for a collector of such.