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TAYLOR, Marshall W.

The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World.

The Story of a Coloured Boy's Indomitable Courage and Success Against Great Odds. An Autobiography.

Published: Worcester: Wormley Publishing Company, 1928

Stock code: 95968

Price: £1,500

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First edition, first impression, in the scarce jacket. The autobiography of the pioneering athlete Marshall Walter “Major” Taylor, who became the world champion in 1899 in the one mile sprint. He was also the second African-American world champion in any sport, after boxer George Dixon. Though celebrated in Europe and Australia, his career was held back by racism at home in the US, especially in the Southern states, where he was not allowed to compete, and the League of American Wheelman for a time explicitly excluded black cyclists. He retired from the track in 1910, at the age of 32.

Octavo. Original blue cloth, spine and front board lettered in gilt. With the dust jackets. Portrait frontispiece. Small marginal stain to lower edge, top edges of some pages lightly creased, overall an exceptional copy in the faded jacket that has some loss to spine ends and tips and some tape repairs to verso.

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