Cricket, Literature and Culture by Anthony Bateman

By Anthony Bateman

In his very important contribution to the becoming box of activities literature, Anthony Bateman lines the connection among literary representations of cricket and Anglo-British nationwide id from 1850 to the mid Eighties. reading newspaper debts, tutorial books, fiction, poetry, and the paintings of editors, anthologists, and historians, Bateman elaborates the ways that an extended culture of literary discourse produced cricket's cultural prestige and which means. His critique of writing approximately cricket results in the rediscovery of little-known texts and the reinterpretation of recognized works through authors as varied as Neville Cardus, James Joyce, the good warfare poets, and C.L.R. James. starting with mid-eighteenth century debts of cricket that offer crucial historical past, Bateman examines the literary evolution of cricket writing opposed to the backdrop of key old moments resembling the good conflict, the 1926 common Strike, and the increase of Communism. numerous case stories exhibit that cricket at the same time asserted English beliefs and created anxiousness approximately imperialism, whereas cricket's distinctively colonial aesthetic is highlighted via Bateman's exam of the discourse surrounding colonial cricket excursions and cricketers like Prince Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji of India and Sir Learie Constantine of Trinidad. that includes an in depth bibliography, Bateman's publication indicates that, whereas the discourse surrounding cricket was once key to its prestige as a logo of country and empire, the embodied perform of the game served to destabilise its verified cultural that means within the colonial and postcolonial contexts.

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Cricket, Literature and Culture

In his very important contribution to the starting to be box of activities literature, Anthony Bateman strains the connection among literary representations of cricket and Anglo-British nationwide identification from 1850 to the mid Nineteen Eighties. interpreting newspaper debts, educational books, fiction, poetry, and the paintings of editors, anthologists, and historians, Bateman elaborates the ways that a protracted culture of literary discourse produced cricket's cultural prestige and that means.

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3 31 Frontispiece to the first book of cricket technique, Thomas Boxall’s Rules and Instructions for Playing at the Game of Cricket (1801). V. Lucas, The Hambledon Men. 56 With the emergence of national discourses enabled by the growth of print culture, to play cricket on a village green was no longer merely to partake in a localised practice, but to be part of a highly ritualised element of the national culture. Cricket as Pedagogic Discourse From the middle of the nineteenth century cricket became an integral element in the middle-class reform and expansion of the public schools and in the ability of these institutions to produce hegemonic representations of English masculine 56 Ian Clarke, ‘The Development and Social History of Cricket in Cornwall 1815– 1881’ (PhD.

3, As I Please, Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus, eds (London: Secker & Warburg, 1968), 213. 84 Hornung, Raffles, 41. 85 Nicholas Wanostrocht (‘An Old Cricketer’), The Cricket Bat And How to Use It: A Treatise On The Game Of Cricket (London: Baily Brothers, 1861), 13–17. 83 Cricket, Literature and Culture 42 In the late Victorian and Edwardian periods the military role of cricket increasingly became a theme in the game’s literature. It is significant that the saying ‘The Battle of Waterloo was won on the Playing Fields of Eton’ dates from 1889 and not from the time of Napoleon.

37 Nyren, 91. , 116. 39 John Arlott, From Hambledon to Lord’s, 10. Perhaps cricket was too modern for Hardy, although he played the sport as a youth. The only reference to cricket in his entire fictional output appears in the Mayor of Casterbridge. In the eerie atmosphere of Casterbridge’s ancient Roman amphitheatre, ‘Some boys had latterly tried to impart gaiety to the ruin by using the central arena as a cricket-ground. But the game usually languished for the aforesaid reason – the dismal privacy which the earthen circle enforced, shutting out every appreciative passer’s vision, every commendatory remark from outsiders – everything, except the sky; and to play at games in such circumstances was like acting to an empty house’.

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