British Field Sports: A Valuable Work of Reference for the Gentleman, the Sportsman, the Farmer, the Members of the Volunteer Rifle Corps, and every one interested in Athletic Sports and Recreations
Henry Downes Miles
William Mackenzie, Edinburgh & Dublin; nd but 1890 or later.
Hardback; 260 x 320 mm; half-leather boards with detached titles label from spine; 556 pages, all edges marbled. Marbled endpapers. Illustrations throughout. No dust jacket.
The book is in poor condition. The title label from the spine is detached. The spine and boards are badly worn and scuffed, with tears and cracks of the binding on the spine. Internally there is cracking along the gutters of the endpapers with a degree of grubbiness, marking, tanning, and some foxing throughout. The first few pages are annotated in black ink: “J L Flowers Ramsey”. There are a few closed tears and the odd crease with some dog ears. The plates between pages 468/469, 500/501, and 516/517 are detached as are the final leaf of the book and the back free endpaper. The plate between pages 486/487 is partially detached.
Although in poor condition overall, the contents of the book are complete. The plates, some of them coloured, and the drawings are attractively presented. The book contains a wealth of detail about field sports and how they were practiced over 100 years ago. Naturally, this reflects attitudes to wildlife and management of the countryside as they then were. The sports covered include bicycling (the only bicycle illustrated is the penny-farthing), cricket, croquet, lawn tennis, etc.
The book is likely to appeal not only to the collector but also to those with an interest in the historical aspects of field sports and such recreations.