Sport An exhibition of material from the Monash University Library Rare Books Collection Introduction




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Yachting

115. Bundey, W. H. (William Henry), 1838-1909.

Reminiscences of twenty-five years yachting in Australia : an essay on manly sports, a cruise on shore etc. : notes of a voyage to China and Japan / by W. H. Bundey. (Adelaide : E. S. Wigg & Sons, 1888)



Bundey was an Adelaide lawyer, expert on Admiralty Law. He was one of the founders of the South Australian Yacht Squadron. His reminiscences include accounts of various early yacht races in Australian waters, and local regattas.

116. Across Bass Strait : a souvenir of ocean yacht race from Queenscliff, Vic. to Low Head, Tas., December 27th 1907. (Melbourne : Atlas Press, [1908?])



Competitive sailing began in the Australian colonies of Tasmania and New South Wales in 1827 at the Hobart and Sydney regattas. These included both rowing and yachting races. From 1877 there were many inter-colonial and inter-state yachting competitions held, particularly in Sydney Harbour. New Zealand boats sailed across the Tasman to take part.


The main Australian ocean-going race is the Sydney to Hobart yacht race which starts in Sydney Harbour on Boxing Day. The first of these was held in December 1945.


The stretch of water across Bass Strait, the route described in the book on display, is considered one of the most testing in the world.

117. D'Alpuget, Lou.

Color Seven's guide to The America's Cup 1977 / by Lou D'Alpuget and the editors of Australian Sailing. (North Sydney, NSW : Bob Ross & Associates, [1977])



Yachting is a rich man’s sport and nowhere is this more in evidence than in the America’s Cup. The event is held every three years. Australia won it in 1983 with John Bertrand at the helm of Australia II. The designer of the yacht’s revolutionary “winged keel” was Ben Lexcen (1936-1988). Lexcen, whose original name was Bob Miller, had designed the Southern Cross, beaten in 1974, and the Australia beaten in 1977 and 1980. He had said in the 1960s when still designing 18-foot boats, "Someday, someone will give me enough money to design the winner of the America's Cup."

Skiing and skating

118. Heathcote, J. M.

Skating / by J. M. Heathcote and C. G. Tebbutt ; Figure-skating / by T. Maxwell Witham (London : Longmans Green, 1892) (Badminton Library)



As well as skating, this book from the Badminton Library series includes chapters on Curling, Tobogganing, Ice-Sailing and Bandy, an early form if ice-hockey.


The frontispiece shows a figure-skating movement, the “forward rocker”, involving two men and two women; the men are wearing top hats and tails. The title-page vignette shows a “bandy” player.

119. Caulfield, Vivian

How to Ski and how not to / by Vivian Caulfield (London, Nisbet, 1924)



The first edition of this book appeared in 1911. It opens with a chapter on “The Englishman as a ski-runner”. He considers the benefits of skiing,


With regard to the possibilities of ski-running considered purely as a sport, it may be said that a good runner, descending a steep hill where the ground is open, will often cover a considerable distance at an average rate of 45 miles an hour: that when moving at half that speed he can thread his way among obstacles or stop suddenly; and that the present record for a jump on skis is about 154 feet. I need hardly say, therefore, that the opportunities afforded by the sport for the exercise not only of the runner’s nerve, but of his skill and judgment are almost unlimited. (p. 3)


He has a low opinion of his countrymen as skiers, compared to Europeans, quoting a remark he heard from some Swiss skiers, criticising,


an exhibition of unusual awkwardness and timidity on the part of one of their own countrymen in the words, “He skies like an Englishman.” (p. 6)


120. Benson, E. F. (Edward Frederic), 1867-1940.

Winter sports in Switzerland / by E.F. Benson ... illustrations in colour by C. Fleming Williams ... from photographs by Mrs. Aubrey Le Blond. (London : George Allen & Co., 1913)



In addition to skiing, this book covers skating, ice hockey, tobogganing and curling.

121. Mt. Buffalo ski championships : the Chalet, 31st July-13th August. 1937 official programme. ([Melbourne] : Mount Buffalo Alpine Club, 1937)

122. Ward, G. R. T. (George Robert Ticehurst)

Skiers' handbook of concise, modern ski technique and classification of Australian snow / by G. Robert Ward. 2nd edition. Sydney : Alliance Printing Company , [194-?]



Skiing as a sport in Australia began in the 1860s when some Norwegian miners introduced it at Kiandra in NSW. Early in the 20th century an Alpine Club of New South Wales was set up at the same location. In 1909 the Hotel Kosciusko was built at Mt. Kosciusko, NSW, and in 1910 the Chalet was opened at Mt. Buffalo in Victoria. The sport has grown from there, with a regular ski season in the Australian Alps and in Tasmania.

Nat Gould and sporting novels



Nat Gould was an English journalist who migrated to Australia in 1884 and worked for the Brisbane Telegraph. His main work was as sports writer, specialising in horse-racing. In late 1887 he moved to Sydney and began work on the sports newspaper, The Referee. He had a column each week under the name of “Verax” in which he gave tips and wrote sketches. His first racing serial, “Blue and white” appeared in the paper from 8 March to 3 May 1888. Another, “With the tide”, ran in early 1890 and was published by Routledge in 1891 as The Double Event. The book was released in Australia at the time of the Melbourne Cup that year, a fact to which Gould attributed its success. It was adapted for the stage by George Darrell, and achieved a measure of fame for the twenty horses which are brought on stage for the final scene.


He continued to work in Sydney, writing eight more serials, all of which were published in book form, then, in January 1895, he resigned and returned to England. Carbine, the winner of the 1890 Melbourne Cup, travelled over on the same boat.


Back in England he wrote four novels per year and new titles were still appearing well after his death in 1919. In all he wrote 130 novels, 22 of which were published posthumously. Most of his books appeared as “yellowbacks”. They centre on racing, and include elements of detective fiction and romance. He was the Dick Francis of his time. His books have sold more than twenty-four million copies.

123. Gould, Nat, 1857-1919.

On and off the turf in Australia / by Nat Gould. (London : Routledge, [1895])




124. Gould, Nat, 1857-1919.

Town and bush : stray notes on Australia / by Nat Gould. (London : Routledge, 1896)




125. Gould, Nat, 1857-1919.

Sporting sketches being recollections and reflections on a variety of subjects connected with sport horses and horsemen, never before published / by Nat. Gould. (London : Everett, 1900)




126. Gould, Nat, 1857-1919.

The magic of sport : mainly autobiographical / by Nat Gould. (London : J. Long, 1909)



These were Gould’s autobiographical and non-fiction works.

127. Gould, Nat, 1857-1919.

Running it off or hard hit / by "Verax" (Nat Gould). (London : George Routledge, 1892)

128. Gould, Nat, 1857-1919.

The famous match : being the story of a great race / by Nat Gould. (London : George Routledge, [1898?])

129. Gould, Nat, 1857-1919.

A racecourse tragedy / by Nat Gould. (London : Everett, [1901])




130. Gould, Nat, 1857-1919.

The lady trainer / by Nat Gould. (London : John Long, [1906?])

131. Gould, Nat, 1857-1919.

Charger and chaser / by Nat Gould. (London : John Long, [1907?])

132. Gould, Nat, 1857-1919.

The top weight / by Nat Gould. (London : John Long, [1908?])



On display is a selection from the 130 novels Gould wrote, forty of which were set in Australia.


Arthur Wright and other sports novelists




133. Williams, H. Noel (Hugh Noel), 1870-1925.

A ten pound penalty : a tale of the turf / by H. N. Williams. (London : Anthony Treherne & Co., [1903?])

134. Breaker, Leon.

Only a jockey boy : a tale of the Australian turf / by Leon Breaker. (London : R.A. Everett & Co., [1904])

135. Wright, Arthur, 1870-1932.

A rogue's luck / by Arthur Wright. (Sydney : Bookstall, 1911)

136. Wright, Arthur, 1870-1932.

In the last stride / with illus. by Lionel Lindsay. 3rd edition. (Sydney : N.S.W. Bookstall Co., 1919)

137. Wright, Arthur, 1870-1932.

The breed holds good / by Arthur Wright. (Sydney : Bookstall, 1923)

138. Wright, Arthur, 1870-1932.

A game of chance / by Arthur Wright ; illustrations by Percy Lindsay. (Sydney : N.S.W. Bookstall, 1927)



Arthur Wright was born near Bathurst. He wrote twenty-two novels, most of which have a racing background, though, as can be seen from its cover, In the last stride also features boxing.


His publisher was the New South Wales Bookstall Company, the Australian equivalent to the English yellowback publishers. Many of the illustrations were done by the Lindsays, Norman, Percy, or Lionel.


As with Nat Gould, Wright included elements of crime and romance in his plots. All of his books are set in Australia.

Magazines



It would be possible to do an entire exhibition on this subject using only magazines. We have good holdings of titles such as Sporting life, Sports novels, The Ring, Wrestling News. In addition we hold long runs of magazines such as Parade, Pix, People and Australasian Post which regularly carried sporting stories.


A selection of the covers have been reproduced for the screens which accompany the exhibition.

Children’s Books



In the wall cases in the corridor outside the Rare Books Reading Room we have on display some of the material from our Lindsay Shaw Children’s Collection. The covers of the novels, annuals and gift books often featured people playing sport. Most often soccer and cricket, but we can also see sports such as cycling, lacrosse, basketball, swimming and golf being played. The books range in date from the Victorian period to the 1950s.


One image is of the cover of The Saturday Evening Post, 5 Sept., 1936, a magazine featured on a screen in the Exhibition area.


Exhibition catalogue: Sport


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