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Wood, The Rev. J.G. (Compiled and Edited by): The Modern Playmate. A Book of Games, Sports, and Diversions for Boys of All Ages. London, Warne no date (but is from 1870s)

Hardcover, pictorial covers, 860 pages, ca. 600 b/w illustrations.

Condition: lacks title page, the half-title page is present but worn and has an old inscription dated 1878. The complete text block is detached from the covers. The covers are in quite good condition and can be re-attached. A number of pages are loose and the last page is p. 860, a few pages at the end are missing. Overall condition is fair only.

Despite this it is a fascinating book which covers many sports and pastimes:
bowls, golf, curling, la crosse, croquet, football, cricket, gymnastics, horse riding, driving (coaches), fencing, archery, river-boating (rowing), sailing, swimming, skating, pedestrianism (athletics running), carpentering, amateur engineering, ship building and rigging, knots and splices, gardening, trapping, fishing, shooting, sciences, photography, postage stamp collecting, philately,arts, chess, conjuring, card tricks etc.

The section on football is 9 pages with 7 illustrations. "Though ranking second to cricket only among our outdoors games football yet labours under one immense disadvantage in being unprovided with a code of rules of universal acceptance."
The rules sound like soccer rules but seem to allow a player to hold and carry the ball. It seems the book does not clearly distinguish between rugby union and association football or soccer.

Rule 11: no player may wear iron plates, projecting nails or gutta percha on his boots or shoes.

The section on cricket is 30 pages with many illustrations.

Overall a fascinating early sports book that is well worth repairing!!! Please click here to ask a question
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  • Seller location: Lower Hutt City, Wellington, NZ

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