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The Real Jeeves: The Cricketer Who Gave His Life for His Country and His Name to a Legend [Kindle Edition]

Brian Halford
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £16.99
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Book Description

The Real Jeeves tells the story of a young cricketer whose glorious life was snuffed out, but whose name will live forever. Plucked from country-house cricket, all-rounder Percy Jeeves was to outshine the Golden Age's greats over two seasons with Warwickshire, clean bowling Jack Hobbs, hitting Wilfred Rhodes for six and outclassing England captain Plum Warner. In September 1914, Jeeves bowled Warwickshire to victory over champions Surrey. It was his 50th first-class match - and his last.

The Real Jeeves traces Percy's life from idyllic childhood via county cricket into the nightmare of war. Excerpts from battalion diaries detail the horrors of the Western Front, and ultimately his demise on the Somme. Yet Percy Jeeves' name lived on thanks to PG Wodehouse, who saw him play at Cheltenham in 1913 and was so impressed he noted the name for a character who shared the modest Yorkshireman's immaculate conduct and appearance.

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Product Description


**Runner-up in the MCC Cricket Book of the Year Award**

"One of the finest cricket biographies I have ever read." --David Warner, Yorkshire CCC website

"Percy Jeeves's really story puts things into perspective. Reading about what Percy and his comrades went through in the trenches makes you think. The Real Jeeves is an eye-opening book." --Ashley Giles

"A wonderful new book... Halford recounts magnificently - and with aching poignancy - the terrible fate suffered by Jeeves and his comrades in the trenches." --Chris Waters, The Yorkshire Post

"A thought-provoking glimpse into an aspect of the past that must never be forgotten... this is one that should not be missed." --Martin Chandler, CricketWeb

"Brian Halford, one of the many excellent cricket writers in regional journalism, retells the story [of Jeeves] in a new book, The Real Jeeves." --The Times

"A wonderful book, worth far more than most of the formulaic cricket autobiographies. The author has made a major contribution to cricket literature with this memorable book, that is deservedly among the contenders for the 2014 Cricket Book of the Year." --Peakfan Blog

"This true-life story is as memorable - and surely more poignant - than any of [P G Wodehouse's] much-loved creations." --Simon Briggs, The Telegraph

"The Real Jeeves: I couldn't recommend it more." --George Dobell, CricInfo

"It's an amazing book, for a cricket fan, a Wodehouse fan and well, a great stories fan. Loved it." --Vic Minett, BBC CWR

"A fascinating story and a very well-researched book, it relates the tale of a very young cricketer for youth. The story is of immense human interest, with an insight into life in the trenches." --The Cricket Memorabilia Society Magazine.

"Beautifully written, touching without ever drifting towards maudlinism, detailed yet not remotely dry. There are any number of such stories that deserve to be told but some demand to be told by a writer capable of doing them justice. The Real Jeeves is one of those happy projects where content and style coalesce to perfection." --The Coventry Evening Telegraph

"An outstandingly well-written story of a former Warwickshire player. A very haunting account of his final days - truly thought-provoking." --Keith Cook, secretary of Warwickshire Old County Cricketers Association.

"Brian Halford evokes the squalour and the futility of trench warfare. This part of the book contains some very fine writing indeed. A compelling account of a life cut short and congratulations to the author and the publishers for opening a window on to this neglected part of cricket history." --The Cricket Journal

About the Author

Brian Halford has covered the fortunes of Warwickshire CCC for the Birmingham Post & Mail since 2000. Brian is the author of Warwickshire CCC On This Day, 100 Years of Test Match Cricket at Edgbaston and The Year of the Bear, the story of Warwickshire's championship triumph in 2004.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3477 KB
  • Print Length: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Pitch Publishing (Brighton) Ltd (1 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #242,898 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last 4 July 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am related to Percy Jeeves, and so not altogether disinterested. Brian Halford's research is exhaustive, and cricket lovers will both enjoy it and view as an important addition to both cricket history, and our knowledge of the Great War. Even though it is reasonable to view me as biased, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and its connection of my mother's surname to P. G. Wodehouse's most famous character.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for Cricket lovers 14 Nov. 2013
By johnboy
My son sent me this book as a birthday present and I must confess that I had never heard of Percy Jeeves, but once starting the book had difficulty in putting it down,it is beautifully written with an astonishing amount of research into the history of a man who would surely have gone on to represent his country but for the dreadfull events of the Great war. The author not only brings to the reader the action on the cricket field but also manages to convey the horrors of the trenches. A truly memorable read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful piece of writing 10 Nov. 2013
By Peakfan
Format:Kindle Edition
Few cricketers have been afforded the honour of a biography after a career that encompassed a mere two seasons of first-class cricket and only fifty matches. Percy Jeeves is far from a household name among cricket followers, although that surname, appropriated by PG Wodehouse after seeing him in action at Cheltenham in 1913, is of far greater literary fame.

Having said that, Jeeves' story is one that thoroughly deserved to be told and it is apposite that I am reviewing it on Armistice Sunday, the player having lost his life in the carnage of the Western Front on 22 July, 1916. Only two years earlier, he was starring for Warwickshire after being overlooked by his native Yorkshire and was making a great impression on the English county cricket scene.

In those fifty first-class games, he played several hard-hitting innings and made 1200 runs, although his average of just sixteen was perhaps not a true reflection of his talent. He was a fine fielder too, with a good pair of hands and a strong arm, but it was as a bowler that Jeeves looked set to hit the heights.

In those two summers he finished with one short of two hundred wickets at a shade over twenty runs each. Bowling right arm, somewhere between medium and fast, he was probably over-bowled but looked set to be the fulcrum of his side's attack for years to come. He got movement, often extravagant and late, but was very accurate and took many of his wickets through clean bowling batsmen, often when they were well set with a ball that had extra nip.

He was only 26 at the outbreak of war and, having qualified for Warwickshire, doubtless looked forward to a long career.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story worth telling 22 Sept. 2013
At last after so many years of hearing about this very modest cricketer, comes his story. The research that went into this must have been exhausting but the brief life of Percy Jeeves is very interesting because he was such a good player as the records suggest and also because like so many others, he died serving his country when he like the rest, had no idea just what he was letting himself in for and how almost impossible the task was. It is sad but it needed telling and is done so extremely well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Jeeves 8 Feb. 2014
By Chris
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An interesting and well-researched account of the life (and death) of the cricketer who impressed Plum sufficiently for him to name his most famous (??) creation after him. Brian Halford adopts a largely chronological approach to Percy Jeeves's life and cricket career and this works well in this case, given that, sadly, Jeeves had all too few seasons of top flight cricket. Little primary material remains but Halford has made good use of the material he has managed to find. All in all, I would recommend this insightful study; it nicely complements the ACSH series on the well known and not-so-well cricketers of the past and provides valuable insights into the life and times of Edwardian county cricketers. It also makes it abundantly clear why Plum was so impressed when he saw Jeeves in action and gives us as rounded a portrait as is now possible of the modest and likeable man whose lasting memorial is in that gentleman's gentleman.
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