Friday, July 1, 2022

Tennis History Book: "The Birth of Lawn Tennis"

“The Birth of Lawn Tennis, From the Origins of the Game to the First Championship at Wimbledon”
, by Robert A. Hillway & Richard T. Everitt (Vision Sports Publishing, UK 2018, 570+ Pages with Biographies, Charts and Timelines)(First Printing Run of 500 Leather-Bound Copies Sold Out). 

After the late Bud Collins, Richard A. Hillway is considered one of our preeminent tennis historians, committed to the highest standards of primary source research. 

Written with Co-Author and British tennis historian Richard T. Everitt, Hillway's book "The Birth of Lawn Tennis" is a massive and seminal tome on the origins of the game based on 20 years of research and study. 

Lavishly illustrated with historical photographs and images, this masterwork takes the reader through the early history of what was then called 'lawn tennis" - first introduced and later popularized by Major Walter Clopton Wingfield in London in 1874. 

Hillway's book reaffirms Wingfield's pioneering and pivotal role in the development of the game. And the book goes on to record events in the game's first years, leading up the maiden Wimbledon Championship in 1877, and tracks the players, officials and rules. 

A unique contribution of the book is to help dispel persistent myths and false narratives which have sprung up about the game over time, some of which still appear to circulate today.

For example, it disproves false stories such as the one that lawn tennis originated in Birmingham, England in 1859 with Harry Gem and Augurio Perera. And the false story that lawn tennis was first brought to America in 1874 by Mary Outerbridge. 

To better explain the book, Hillway has published an accompanying Research Booklet captioned "The Early Years of Lawn Tennis: A Guide for Historians and Researchers" (Click Here for the 28 Page PDF Version).

In "The Birth of Lawn Tennis", Hillway and Everitt have produced an exceptional piece of scholarly research for tennis history buffs, which also serves as a powerful tribute to a great game for the ages. 

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