Back Curator's Sports and Pastimes

Curator's Sports and Pastimes

Beyond physical and mental health, there are many reasons why sports and pastimes are important activities to incorporate into the daily life of both children and adults alike; luckily, there are many volumes that have been published over centuries which can help us enhance our performances or simply entertain us by expanding our knowledge on our favourite hobbies. Below, we curated a list of some of our favourite books dealing with the subject. Whether you're looking to expand your understanding of a specific sport or a guide to take on something new, this is the right place to be.

An Edwardian health and wellbeing book by a British tennis player, Olympian and diet guru. The author Eustace Miles was an experimental fad dietician who caused publicity when advocating surviving on two plasmon biscuits and a single lentil a day.
This volume contains two folding charts. 

c1920 Tumbling Tricks for Exercise and Entertainment

A fantastic illustrated guide to tumbling, written by the editor of 'Health & Strength' magazine, with over seventy illustrations.

1931 The Game of Golf

The illustrated first edition of Lonsdale Library's essay collection on golf, containing the writings of Bernard Darwin and other influential golfers.


1915 Billboards by Tom Reece and W. G. Clifford

A lovely edition of this work about the techniques of billiards, written by a celebrated player. This work follows the origins and history of billiards.


1922 The Most Excellent Historie of MacHamlet Hys Handycap by Paul Triefus

A brilliant parody merging the subject of golf with the writings of Shakespeare, with fantastic illustrations.


c1893-1905 Cassell's Complete Book of Sports and Pastimes

A very smart binding for these two works. 'Cassell's Complete Book of Sports and Pastimes' and 'Chamber's Twentieth Century Dictionary.' Widely used by British crossword solvers and setters and Scrabble players, this dictionary contains more dialectal, archaic, unconventional and eccentric words than its rivals, and is often noted for its occasional wryly humorous definitions.


1926 Wunder des Schneeschuhs by Arnold Fanck

A very scarce volume on the theory and techniques of skiing by Arnold Fanck, with illustrations taken from the homonymous German documentary. Illustrated with two hundred and forty two individual images throughout and one hundred and twenty six cinematographic lines enclosed to the rear.


1923 Model Yachts and Boats by J. du V. Grosvenor

A nice revised edition of this extensive work on model yachts and boats, illustrated with useful plates throughout. Four pages of publisher's adverts to the front.


1909-22 Parallel Bar Exercises by Staff-Sergeant Moss

Two first edition gymnastic works on horizontal and parallel bar exercises, written by the gymnastics master Staff-Sergeant Moss. Illustrated profusely throughout.


1909 The Text-Book of Roller Skating by Great Monohan

A very scarce first edition of the Great Monohan's expert guide to roller skating, illustrated throughout with plates showing him performing his well known tricks.


1925 The Prize Ring by Bohun Lynch

A limited edition discussion on the sport of boxing by Bohun Lynch, illustrated throughout with colour and monochrome plates.


1902 Taylor on Golf by J. H. Taylor

A fantastic and thorough volume detailing this celebrated golfer's opinions on the sport, in a pictorial binding.


1894 Yachting by Sir Edward Sullivan et al.

A thorough and charming two volume set on the subject of yachting, from the Badminton Library.


1889 Rowing and Sculling by Walter Bradford Woodgate

A scarce copy of this concise guide to rowing and sculling, written by oarsman Walter Bradford Woodgate.


1909 British Sport Past and Present by E. D. Cuming

The first edition of this colourfully illustrated work looking into many different types of hunting.


1906 Billiards by Major W. Broadfoot

A fantastic guide to billiards from the Badminton Library of Longmans, Green and Co., which covered all manner of sporting activities and pastimes, and was dedicated to HRH the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII. It consisted of thirty-three volumes, this being the twenty-seventh in the series. 


1931 Thoughts Upon Hare and Fox Hunting by Peter Beckford

A charming reprint of the 1796 edition of this work on the art of foxhunting. In a lovely half calf binding with gilt detail to the spine.


c1938 Modern Boy's Book of Racing Cars

A marvellous illustrated annual of this collection of short stories on the subject of racing cars. A charming work. To browse more of this sort of volumes, click here.


1878 Fun Ancient and Modern by Dr Maurice Davies

The scarce first edition of this Victorian guide to ancient and modern fun through games, a charming work.


1890 Bezique and Cribbage by W. H. Peel

A scarce late Victorian guide to two popular card games, cribbage and bezique, an instructional work.