Published in 1991 by Routledge. Contains 29 plates and a useful index.
In Britain's history, work and leisure have always been yoked together. Until the Reformation, the working year was peppered with Saint's days and ancient pre-Christian festivals. No puritan ethic of godly work could dent the British addiction to pleasure, and even when the Industrial Revolution broke the old cycle, workers created their own festivals.
Employers and moralists came to accept the need for leisure, but they preferred the chaotic, often anarchic quality of traditional pastimes which were closely linked to drunkenness and immorality. Organised sport provided spectacle, discipline and orderly participation, a perfect means of controlling men's leisure time as industrial society dominated their working hours. The control of women was achieved by other less subtle means. What began as a means of control became a source of true pleasure and delight for working men: a liberation from daily life, replete with heroes and passionate loyalties.
Dennis Brailsford traces the rise and transformation of organised sport, its impact upon social patterns and gender roles, and suggests that today sport is recreating some of the social ills it was first designed to cure more than a century ago.
A former owner's name and address is written on inside cover, and their have been written along the edge of the text-block.
Complete with original unclipped dust jacket and in a nice clean condition.