The Battle of Waterloo, it was said, was won on the playing fields of Eton. In his new book, Dennis Brailsford explores how this can have been so.
Here the acclaimed author of serious sporting history takes the first scholarly look at English sport from 1775 to 1815. The period from the middle of the eighteenth century to the middle of the nineteenth has been largely neglected by historians of sport, and yet it saw the establishment of all five classic horse-races, the founding of cricket’s ruling body, the MCC, and not only the first recognised championship in boxing but the first transatlantic challenger for the title.
Now scholars are beginning to recognise the significance of those years for our sporting inheritance, both its place in and its impact on society in Britain and in many of the outposts of Empire. Dr Brailsford has provided an essential text for academics and general readers alike.