• RRP: £25.00
  • You Save: £4.00 (16%)
FREE Delivery in the UK.
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Mr Darley's Arabian: High... has been added to your Basket

Dispatch to:
To see addresses, please
Or
Please enter a valid UK postcode.
Or
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Expedited shipping available on this book. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Mr Darley's Arabian: High Life, Low Life, Sporting Life: A History of Racing in 25 Horses: Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award Hardcover – 16 Jun 2016

4.9 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£21.00
£15.30 £11.67
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more

Man Booker International Prize 2017
A Horse Walks Into a Bar has won the Man Booker International Prize 2017. Learn more
click to open popover

Frequently bought together

  • Mr Darley's Arabian: High Life, Low Life, Sporting Life: A History of Racing in 25 Horses: Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award
  • +
  • How's Your Dad?
Total price: £34.72
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.



Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray (16 Jun. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848549830
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848549838
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 46,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

Product description

Review

An excellent history . . . McGrath is one of the finest sportswriters of this generation . . . Brilliant (David Walsh SUNDAY TIMES)

A racing book like no other - a book of remarkable scope (Robin Oakley THE SPECTATOR)

Erudite, wry and astute . . . extraordinary horses and a rich seam of cultural history woven into a fascinating book (Melanie Reid THE TIMES, Book of the Week)

A vivid, sweeping history of impressive scope. McGrath's eye for a story and eloquent turns of phrase will delight (Nick Pulford RACING POST)

The introduction made my arms tingle as McGrath recalls Frankels's win at the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in 2011... Racing life, social life and equine life are all neatly pulled together and expertly rendered into a compelling story. each chapter is a satisfying vignette of a Darley descendent, the jockeys, trainers, rakes and rank who were involved. Chance and Fortune, deals and dodging -- it's like Derby Day on the page (Alexandra Henton THE FIELD)

A racy gallop . . . a teeming, colourful survey [with] a great deal to inform and entertain (Nicholas Clee OBSERVER)

A dark horse contender (EVENING STANDARD)

Did I think I'd end up missing the whole of the Euro 2016 final in order to finish Chris McGrath's Mr Darley's Arabian? By no means, but I guess it's just that kind of book... Packed with the result of thousands of hours of painstaking research (the bibliography, in itself, is worth a read), the book never gets bogged down in any one horse or race and travels along at a pace that almost forces the turn of the next page. It also includes a quite ridiculous amount of sex, disgrace and utter debauchery. And unlike so many of the great betting coups related throughout, many of which quite spectacularly fail to deliver, it's an investment well worth making (Will Hayler SPORTING LIFE)

Meticulous research and engaging writing... a book to be savoured, Mr Darley's Arabian is a triumph (Richard Fahey RACING POST)

A good story . . . from an award-winning journalist . . . [McGrath is] at his best when he is conveying his love of racing (Patrick Scrivenor LITERARY REVIEW)

Truly gripping...a finely crafted tome that insists on your uninterrupted attention from the start...A fascinating tale of horses and those who owned, trained and traded them. the story is peppered with enough scandal and adventure to fill the trashiest novel. Fortunately, Mr Darley's Arabian is very well written, its narrative racing along effortlessly - as you might expect of a thoroughbred author (Pete Sharkey BIRMINGHAM POST, Sports Book of the Month)

A high-quality history of our sport, drawing on a cast that takes in aristocrats and nouveaux riches, playboy industrialists, Smithfield meat salemen and the rulers of Dubai (GUARDIAN)

A colourful and engaging tale of scandals, adventures and fortunes lost and won (HORSE MAGAZINE)

A real thoroughbred.. a three century gallop through 25 generations of champions (IRISH MAIL)

Entertaining and informative... a remarkable journey through three centuries, many countries and most of all 25 horses to trace the history of horse racing... [written with] a wonderful light touch. (Bill Spence RYEDALE GAZETTE & HERALD)

The thoroughbred among new writers (OXFORD TIMES)

A sprawling, colourful read, McGrath is an excellent writer and this is an ambitious and well-researched project... [Its readers] are on to a winner (SPORT)

A brilliant read... excellent...if you have any interest in horse racing at all, this book is a must read (BOOKBAG)

Brilliant...Mr Darley's Arabian has rightly received rave reviews (Lee Mottershead RACING POST)

Extraordinary (WILTSHIRE VIEW)

To the sound of pounding hooves, royalty and aristocrats, obsessive jockeys and trainers jostle with rogues and rascals. The author's understanding of breeding, racing and human foibles is thorough, his prose elegant. (SUNDAY TIMES, BOOKS OF THE YEAR)

An enthralling cultural history of humans as much as horses (THE TIMES, BOOKS OF THE YEAR)

A sporty stunner... great (COACH)

A picaresque chronicle of horse racing . . . ingenious storytelling... a pleasure (GUARDIAN, BOOKS OF THE YEAR)

McGrath is an excellent writer and this is an ambitious and well-researched project (Sport)

The most comprehensive and entertaining history of racing (DAILY TELEGRAPH)

Brilliantly realised . . . The depth of the research McGrath has undertaken is evident on every page but the difficult balance between being definitive and keeping the reader entertained is cleverly maintained . . . There could be no better way for a newcomer to racing to absorb its rich history or a devotee to discover fresh depths (Observor, 'The Sports Books that Made Our Writers' Year')

McGrath's book is erudite, his style wry and his descriptions astute (The Times)

Excellent history of thorough-bred racing . . . immense attention to detail (Sunday Times)

Book Description

The story of racing told through the bloodline of twenty-five exceptional horses.

See all Product description

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
17
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 18 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Perfect
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this for my husband and he is absolutely delighted with the book
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book was in a very good condition.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By Dr Barry Clayton TOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 Jun. 2016
Format: Hardcover
This is unique book on horse racing. It is a superb account by the sports writer Christopher McGrath of thorough-bred racing. The author examines racing through the lives of 25 horses. He begins with the remarkable story of the Darley Arabian born in 1700. It ends with Frankel in 2008. Each champion horse discussed by the author is a descendant of the previous one.

McGrath tells the story of Thomas Darley who had spent 18 years in Aleppo before returning to his Yorkshire home in 1704. He arranged for the stallion Darley to be sent to Engaland in order to please his father. Unfortunately, he died from chest injuries as the result of a fall from a horse shortly before returning home. The Arabian was to sire numerous winners.

McGrath relates another less attractive side of horse racing. Some owners like Dennis O'Kelly had a prison background. He became involved in a prostitution racket . He bought Eclipse, a descendant of the Darley Arabian. It proved to be the most celebrated racehorse of his generation. Many other shady characters are examined in this delightful book. It is a detailed account of horses that won and those who passed on their genes.

It is said that all men are equal in only two places: on the turf and six feet under it. The book is replete with vignettes. Thirty of the thirty seven winners of the 2000 guineas prior to the repeal of the Corn Laws were owned by landowners. Since 1940, the peerage has only won two. The Darley Arabian never raced. It produced only a score of foals once in Yorkshire. Yet he united the lineage of 19 out of 20 thoroughbreds lining up for any race, anywhere in the world. He was, says the author, 'the daddy of them all'.

There is a useful glossary, a picture section and a select bibliography.
Read more ›
Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
McGrath must have done some serious research to put this book together. I can see him facing a myriad of extracts and articles wondering how to turn them into a coherent whole.

Well he did and well done. I am not familiar with McGrath's journalistic writings but I am wondering how much the old fashioned script of his research material has infected his writing style as it sounds rather victorian. But I am not complaining. I do however find it difficult to remember whose name is which person, or horse, or whether it is a horse or a person, there are such a lot, I have to keep re-reading.

I have read countless (so called) autobiographies of jockeys and trainers and gratefully sup up interesting nuggets of information - in books that are otherwise a bit samey, but Mr Darley's Arabian is a veritable cornucopia, a delicious feast of information and pictures of other times. In fact it has greatly enhanced my limited knowledge of British history. Apart from the fascinating history of the Thoroughbred this book covers the political and social mores of the time and is invaluable at putting nearly three centuries into perspective and giving them context.

I really enjoyed reading this book and would go as far as to say it is an important book, a forever book, on this particular subject.
Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
A genuinely excellent book which explains the origins of horse racing in the UK - and how it developed in Ireland and North America - alongside the social context of times. I learnt a huge amount about politicians and royalty, and how the influence of the establishment changed not only on the sporting world but also on the rest of society. It's also very humorous, the behaviour of many individuals described by the author is bizarre in the extreme. McGrath is clearly a talented writer, his elegant style encouraging the reader on much as a jockey might when approaching the finishing tape.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought as a present but looks well laid out and full of information I think it will be a hit with anyone interested in the evolution of champion horses through the years
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book if your into flat racing.........fascinating to see the blood lines of our thoroughbreed horses. For myself I would have found it easier to digest if the horse names were in 'bold' to define them as there are a lot of owner names to consider. But this is just 'picky' as I'm a slow reader, I'm still reading it!!
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Pages with related products. See and discover other items: just a minute, old english