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A Majestic Innings: Writings on Cricket

A Majestic Innings: Writings on Cricket [Kindle Edition]

C.L.R. James
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description


"'Cricket is much more than a game for Mr James: it is a way of life' Neville Cardus, Guardian" --Neville Cardus, Guardian

Product Description

C.L.R. James is the author of unquestionably the best book ever written about cricket: "Beyond a Boundary" - indeed, one of the finest books written about sport, period. In print ever since its publication in 1963, it has just been reissued again by Yellow Jersey. But James wrote about cricket all his life, though he only ever published one other book on the game, and this is it. Originally published by Allison and Busby, and out of print for the last ten years, it is now republished as part of Aurum's highest-quality cricket list, under a new title and with a striking cover tied in with the cover design of "Beyond a Boundary". "A Majestic Innings" collects together appreciations of great cricketers from Bradman to Botham, Dexter to David Gower, pieces on cricket controversies like the Bodyline series and the D'Oliviera affair, letters to friends like John Arlott and V.S. Naipaul, and above all writings on James's first love, West Indies cricket - on Gary Sobers, Sir Frank Worrell, Learie Constantine, and even the early promise of a young Guyanian called Clive Lloyd. Aurum's cricket list already published almost all the finest writers on the game: Derek Birley, Gideon Haigh, David Frith, David Rayvern Allen - and now it has added C.L.R. James.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 617 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Aurum Press (8 Aug 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #201,950 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beyond "Beyond a Boundary" 26 Sep 2009
James is probably best known in the UK for "Beyond a Boundary". "A Majestic Innings" is one of his very few other books on cricket, as opposed to history and politics. It is a cross-section of his cricket writing over 50 years.

It starts with a riveting description of a brief tussle in the Lancashire League between the aged S F Barnes and the young Constantine. Quite apart from the fascinating personalities, this now seems like a watershed between the archetype of the embittered Victorian pro and the first West Indian cricket superstar, the godfather of Worrell's triumphant team a generation after him.

Unsurprisingly, there are many appearances by James' greatest idols, Constantine, Headley and Worrell. James said of Constantine "he belongs to the distinguished company of men who, through cricket, influenced the history of their time", and he clearly felt the same way about Headley and Worrell. He has at least as much admiration for Sobers as a cricketer, but the absence of comment implies a view that Sobers did not have so much impact, let's say, beyond the boundary. James expresses sincere and amused pleasure about the degree of integration in the crowds between the locals and the newly arrived West Indians evident in the 1963 Test series. He goes on to make a telling comment about the "D'Oliveira affair": "Selectors in Britain would have sent him to Australia without hesitation (as they did two years later). What has happened is much worse than racialism; it is a political demonstration".
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