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The Golden Age of Cricket

  • John Simons
Part of the Insights book series (ISI)

Abstract

The aim of this essay is to look at some features of the game of cricket as it has been mediated to us through popular books dealing specifically with aspects of its history and through the popular imagination. My concern, however, will not be to analyse specific items — often such projects in the realm of popular cultural studies become too descriptive — rather I shall be looking at the game of cricket itself as a popular cultural form. I particularly intend to argue that, in the context of popular cricket history, the ideological load which cricket has been asked to carry may be shown, surprisingly perhaps, to constitute a consistent and deliberate set of values which appear oppositional to much contemporary social and political thought. The effect of this approach is that I will not be dealing with such well-known items as cigarette cards, though these are an undoubted proof of the popularity of the game, nor will I be dealing with the fictionalisation of cricket in such famous organs as The Boy’s Own Paper or the Magnet. It is tempting to open up this area but the ethos of the school story is well understood and an analysis would do little except reinforce the themes which I will be exploring by reference to less familiar material.

Keywords

Popular Imagination Capitalist Creed Familiar Material Strict Integrity School Story 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Thompson, Francis, ‘At Lord’s’, in A. Ross (ed.) The Penguin Cricketer’s Companion (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1981), pp. 459–60.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Cardus, N., English Cricket (London: 1945), p. 43.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Mason, R., Jack Hobbs (London: Pavilion, 1988), pp. 115–16.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    Fry, C. B., Life Worth Living (London: Pavilion, 1986), p. 44.Google Scholar
  5. On Fry’s career at the League of Nations see also A. Ross, Ranji (London: Pavilion, 1987), pp. 176–8.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    See J. A. Mangan, The Games Ethic and Imperialism (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1986) for full accounts of these figures.Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    James, C. L. R., Beyond a Boundary (London: Stanley Paul, 1963), pp. 33–4.Google Scholar
  8. 9.
    For figures on industrial disputes see J. Quail, The Slow Burning Fuse (London: Granada, 1978), pp. 311–24.Google Scholar
  9. 10.
    J. Bright-Holmes, The Joy of Cricket (London: Peerage, 1986), pp. 243–8.Google Scholar
  10. 11.
    James’s line is taken up and developed in the official history of the Welsh Rugby Union, D. Smith and G. Williams, Fields of Praise (Cardiff: University of Wales, 1980).Google Scholar
  11. 12.
    Marx, K. and Engels, F., Manifesto of the Communist Party, edited by A. J. P. Taylor (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1967), p. 82.Google Scholar
  12. 13.
    Streeton, R., P. G. H. Fender (London: Pavilion, 1987), p. 25.Google Scholar
  13. 14.
    Frith, D., The Golden Age of Cricket (London: Lutterworth, 1978), p. 12.Google Scholar
  14. 19.
    De Selincourt, H., The Game of the Season (Oxford, University Press, 1982), pp. 92–3.Google Scholar
  15. 22.
    Thomson, A. A., Hirst and Rhodes (London: Pavilion Books Ltd., 1986), p. 79.Google Scholar
  16. 24.
    Wright, G., Cricket’s Golden Summer (London: Pavilion, 1985).Google Scholar
  17. 27.
    James, C. L. R., ‘Garfield Sobers’, in The Future in the Present (London: Alison and Busby, 1977), pp. 213–25, pp. 220–1.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Editorial Board, Lumière (Co-operative) Press Ltd 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Simons

There are no affiliations available

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