Are you heading down to Wimbeldon this fortnight? If so, don't forget to drop in at the Tennis Gallery, the world's best tennis book shop. We asked proprietor, Richard Jones what's new
WIMBLEDON ALWAYS BRINGS A BUMPER CROP of new tennis books, and this scorching summer of 2018 is no exception. Two books stand out head and shoulders above the rest, and the authors of both were in Wimbledon on the first Friday of Wimbledon Fortnight for a book signing event at Tennis Gallery Wimbledon, just around the corner from the public tennis courts in Wimbledon Park, scene of countless battles for Local Tennis League points.
The Birth of Lawn Tennis by Bob Everitt and Richard Hillway does exactly what it says on the tin, examining in microscopic detail the events surrounding the early years of the game we now know simply as “tennis.” The two authors – one British, one American – are respected tennis historians, and this seminal work shows the early years of the game in an entirely new light. Midlanders Harry Gem and Augurio Perera were not, contrary to previous opinion, the first to experiment with lawn tennis. It has now been proven beyond doubt that that honour belongs to Major Walter Wingfield alone. Furthermore the Leamington Club - which celebrated its centenary in 1972 - was not in fact founded until the summer of 1874, making it one of the first, but not the first, lawn tennis clubs. Exhibits will now have to be changed in tennis museums around the world.
The second of our stand-out new books is I’ll Take The Sunny Side by former South African Davis Cup player Gordon Forbes, author of the tennis classic A Handful of Summers (1978) and its sequel Too Soon To Panic (1995). This new book completes a joyful trilogy and contains more anecdotes from the tennis circuit of the 1950s and 60s, plus reflections on the idiosyncrasies of the modern game.
All three authors delighted book buyers in Wimbledon, with everyone present united by a shared love of tennis.