With Prefatory Note by Bat Mullins.London: George Bell & Sons, 1889 Stock Code: 113513
First edition. This copy inscribed on the half-title: "With the Author's Compts. to the Committee of the Oxford & Camb. Club, Jan. 10th 1890", and with their bookplate to the front pastedown, and occasional embossed stamps to the text. Rowland George Allanson Allanson-Winn, fifth Baron Headley (1855-1935), was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge where he became university boxing champion; "Admission at the Middle Temple in 1879 did not presage a legal career. After a spell of tutorial teaching, he was for two years editor of the Salisbury Journal, a local newspaper, and for seven years private secretary to Sir Frederick Seager Hunt MP. Rowing, fencing, shooting, skating, golf, swimming, and fishing all engaged him. He wrote books on pugilism and on the use of the walking-stick in self-defence" (ODNB). He is best remembered as a high-profile convert to Islam, a period of depression following the death of two of his children, led him to feel that "mankind needed a simple faith, free from dogma and superstition, that emphasised charity, tolerance, and brotherhood". In 1913 a chance meeting with Khwaja Kamal ud-Din, an Indian from Lahore, who had recently reopened the Shah Jahan mosque at Woking (built in 1889 but little used since), led Headley to Muslim theology, which he found "coincided in all essentials with his own opinions. His conversion to Islam was announced at a dinner at Frascati's restaurant in Oxford Street, London, on 16 November 1913, when he assumed the additional name Shaikh Saifurrahman Rahmatullah El-Farooq". The introductory note - "It is a plain outspoken work, and supplies a long-felt want" - is by Bartholomew "Bat" Mullins, an Irish-born London-based lightweight of the bare-knuckle era who "claimed" the British Championship in 1873, and on the title page here is credited with being "late light-weight champion of the world".
Small octavo (165 x 108 mm). Contemporary vellum presentation binding by Watson of Marylebone Road, title gilt to the spine and front board, ribbon twist panel gilt to the boards, small floral tools to the corners, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers.
Numerous illustrations, from photographs, and line-drawn, to the text.
Somewhat rubbed and soiled, contents lightly browned, short split, now repaired with Japanese tissue, to four leaves of the prelims., overall very good.
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