The Cruise of the Branwen.
Being a short history of the modern revival of the Olympic Games, together with an account of the adventures of the English fencing team in Athens in MCMVI. With drawings by one of them and other illustrations, poems, odes, statistics, and much curious information, the whole printed this first of May, MCMVIII, for private circulation only be the care and at the charges of the author.London, Privately Published, 1908 Stock Code: 141845
NotesFirst edition, privately published in May 1908 and preceding the trade edition of October, here the author's own copy, with the later presentation inscription facing half-title "from Hans Rommel to his friend Mr. S. C. Gilmour in remembrance of the years which we spent together on the staff of the field this book out of the library of its late editor, Sir Theodore Cook. Marnheim, April 12. 1932".
Theodore Cook (1867-1928) was a well-known figure in the sporting world, a member of the council of the British Olympic Association, and played a major part in organizing the 1908 London games. The Cruise of the Branwen "combines Olympic history with a plea for funding for the 1908 Olympic Games... Cook argued that the historical circumstances that had led to the emergence of so many sports in the UK gave the country a natural superiority in sport... he feared that this advantage was being eroded by public apathy and governmental indifference, themes to which Cook frequently returned... Accordingly, he called for governmental assistance for the 1908 Olympics. Without it, he claimed, the organization would suffer" (H. A. Mangan, A Sport-loving Society: Victorian and Edwardian Middle-class England at Play, p. 261).
With the author's note requesting any corrections to be forwarded to him ahead of the publication of the trade edition, along with a letter from the Registrar of the Royal Archives confirming that the Royal Library holds a copy of the book, both loosely inserted. The book is scarcely encountered either in this privately printed edition or the corrected trade edition, with just a handful of institutional holdings of both.
Octavo. Original deluxe red morocco, spine lettered in gilt, front cover with fencing sabre and laurel crown in gilt beneath title, gilt turn-ins, orange endpapers, top edge gilt, others uncut.
With 38 mounted photographs, and 3 illustrations in text, as called for.
Slight rubbing at extremities expertly retouched. An excellent copy.
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