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




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Fishing




74. Senior, William, 1839?-1920.

Near and far : an angler's sketches of home sport and colonial life / by William Senior. New and cheaper ed. (London : Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington, 1890)



Angling or the sport of catching fish has long been a popular pastime. It is “sport” both in the sense of hunting and as a more organised competition.


William Senior was the angling editor of The Field. Part II of Near and far describes the author’s visit to the Australian colonies in the 1880s; the book originally appeared in 1888.


Among the fish he caught were dugong and schnapper off the Queensland coast.


75. Welsby, Thomas, 1858-1941.

Schnappering and fishing in the Brisbane River and Moreton Bay waters : also included a wandering discourse on fishing generally / by Thos. Welsby. (Brisbane : Outridge Printing, 1905)



Schnapper was a popular catch in Brisbane’s Moreton Bay, and Welsby deals with other fish from Queensland waters such as mullet, whiting and flathead, as well as the reef fish from the northern parts of the state.


76. Blackwood, R. L. (Robert Leslie)

The quest of the trout / by Robert Leslie Blackwood. (Melbourne : Robertson and Mullens, 1926)



Trout fishing is the classic angling pursuit, memorably described by Izaak Walton in his Compleat Angler or, the contemplative man’s recreation (1653). Tasmania is the Australian state which offers the best trout fishing but, as Robert Blackwood, points out, the Alpine streams of Victoria and New South Wales also offer good sport.


The English Brown Trout (Salmo favio), after many unsuccessful attempts, was introduced into Victoria in the year 1864, and was soon established in the neighbouring States of Tasmania and New South Wales. Later consignments of that fine fighter, the Rainbow Trout (Salmo irideus Shasta), were received from California, and it may also be found in the states mentioned. (p. 99)


77. Taggerty.

The Australian fishing manual : with hints on camping / by Taggerty. (Melbourne : Reviews Pty. Ltd., [1929])

78. Gregory's N.S.W. official fishing guide : telling how to fish, where to fish, and how to get there. (Sydney : Gregory's Guides and Maps, Pty. Ltd. [1947?])



“Taggerty” was the pen-name of J. E. Pyke, a cricketer and journalist, who was the editor of the Victorian Fly-fisher’s Association Newsletter. He begins his book with “What the old angler told the author”,


The best angler is never COMPLETE. He has an open mind and open eyes. He is not dogmatic about his own theories, because he must often have seen them confounded. He is still, no matter what his years, in the stage of finding out things. He is old enough – in temperament – to be a thorough sportsman; and young enough to learn and like to learn. (p. 8)

79. Float and fly.

Fishing matches : and how to win them / by "Float and fly." (London : Bazaar, Exchange & Mart Ltd., [1927])



The author claims that this is the first book to be written on “match fishing”. In general the matches are decided by the size of the catch at the end of an allotted period.


Displayed with the fishing books is a brass fishing reel, on loan from Ian and Jill Wilson.


Golf

80. Success at golf : hints for the player of moderate ability / by Harry Vardon, Alex Herd, George Duncan, Wilfrid E. Reid, Jack White, Tom Ball and Lawrence Ayton ; with an introduction by R.E. Howard ... Illustrated with action photographs specially taken by Humphrey Joel. ([London] : Fry's magazine Ltd., [1914])



Harry Vardon (1870-1937) won the British Open six times (1896, 1898, 1899, 1903, 1911 and 1914) and the US Open once (1900). He was known as the Napoleon of Golf and was considered unbeatable in the early years of the century.

81. Campbell, Guy,

Golf for beginners / by Major Guy Campbell. 2nd ed. (London : C.A. Pearson Ltd., 1923)



As well as the usual chapters on technique, Major Campbell includes a summary of the principles of “course construction” and on managing a club.

82. Whitton, Ivo, (1893-1967)

Golf : with special high-speed photographs and slow motion cinema slips / by Ivo Whitton. (Melbourne : Herald and Weekly Times, [1930?])



Ivo Whitten won the Australian Open five times between 1912 and 1931. His memory survives in his book, hugely popular among Australian golfers between the wars, and in two trophies, the Victorian Golfing Association’s Ivo Whitten Trophy, awarded annually to the best amateur, and the Royal Melbourne Golf Club’s Ivo Whitten Cup.


The background to the golfing books is a painted advertisement for “Champion shirts”, which would have been displayed in men’s clothes shops in the 1920s and 1930s, showing two men playing golf in shirts, ties and hats, though not in Ivo Whitten’s plus-fours

83. Lyon, C. J. (Charles Jobson)

History of St. Andrews : episcopal, monastic, academic, and civil, comprising the principal part of the ecclesiastical history of Scotland, from the earliest age till the present time / by C. J. Lyon. (Edinburgh : William Tait, 1843)



Golf is supposed to have originated in Scotland. The earliest references to it appear in the Scottish Acts of Parliament from the second half of the 15th century (1457 and 1471). It was banned along with football as being useless. The Scots were exhorted to practise archery instead as being a sport necessary for defending the country.


The earliest scene of people playing golf in Scotland occurs in an oil painting of 1680 which shows four players and two caddies against the backdrop of the town of St. Andrews. The section of golf in the History of St. Andrews on display deals with golf in Appendix LX,


A history of St. Andrews would be incomplete without some reference to the national game of golf, which is played here in greater perfection than any part of Scotland. The extent and inequities of the links are peculiarly adapted for the purpose. The club originated in the year 1750, and consists of about 400 noblemen and gentlemen. … There are nine holes on the links, three of four hundred yards apart; and the object of the players, in going out and returning, is to drive their balls into these holes at the smallest number of strokes. But I will not enter into the rules of the game, nor the laws of the club; because description is unnecessary to those who play, and would, perhaps, be both uninteresting and unintelligible to those who do not. (v. 2, p. 420)

The author gives the list of Captains and Prize-holders of the Club from 1806 to 1842, along with the number of strokes taken to win the tournament each year. It is interesting to note that only three people went around in less than 100 strokes, the best being 97 in 1834.
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