That Will Be England Gone: The Last Summer of Cricket (Hardback)Michael Henderson (author)
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Filled with infectious nostalgia and hugely entertaining anecdotes, That Will Be England Gone is a paean to English cricket and the context in which it is played. Elegiac and affectionate, Henderson’s book celebrates not only the fascinating game but also music, literature, architecture and the English landscape.
Neville Cardus once said there could be no summer in England without cricket.
The 2019 season was supposed to be the greatest summer of cricket ever seen in England. There was a World Cup, followed by five Test matches against Australia in the latest engagement of sport's oldest rivalry. It was also the last season of county cricket before the introduction in 2020 of a new tournament, The Hundred, designed to attract an audience of younger people who have no interest in the summer game.
In That Will Be England Gone, Michael Henderson revisits much-loved places to see how the game he grew up with has changed since the day in 1965 that he saw the great fast bowler Fred Trueman in his pomp. He watches schoolboys at Repton, club cricketers at Ramsbottom, and professionals on the festival grounds of Chesterfield, Cheltenham and Scarborough. The rolling English road takes him to Leicester for T20, to Lord's for the most ceremonial Test match, and to Taunton to watch an old cricketer leave the crease for the last time. He is enchanted at Trent Bridge, surprised at the Oval, and troubled at Old Trafford.
'Cricket,' Henderson says, 'has always been part of my other life.' There are memories of friendships with Ken Dodd, Harold Pinter and Simon Rattle, and the book is coloured throughout by a love of landscape, poetry, paintings and music. As well as reflections on his childhood hero, Farokh Engineer, and other great players, there are digressions on subjects as various as Lancashire comedians, Viennese melancholy and the films of Michael Powell.
Lyrical and elegiac, That Will Be England Gone is a deeply personal tribute to cricket, summer and England.
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 520 g
Dimensions: 236 x 158 x 30 mm
'Philip Larkin's line "that will be England gone" is the premise of this fascinating book which is about music, literature, poetry and films as well as cricket. Henderson is that rare bird, a reporter with a fine grasp of time and place, but also a stylist of enviable quality and perception.' - Michael Parkinson
'Admirers of Neville Cardus and A. E. Housman will warm to Michael Henderson's elegy for an ideal England. A rich roast dinner of cricket, music, topography, nostalgia and anecdote, washed down with prose as smooth and satisfying as a pint of Otter Ale.' - Sebastian Faulks
'Lyrical ... [Henderson's] pen is filled with the romantic spirit of the great Neville Cardus. This book is an extended love letter, a beautifully written one, to a world that he is desperate to keep alive for others to discover and share. Not just his love of cricket, either, but of poetry and classical music and fine cinema ... A book that started out as an elegy for a changing game seems more poignant now.' - Patrick Kidd, The Times
'To those who love both cricket and the context in which it is played, the book is rather wonderful, and moving.' - Simon Heffer, The Daily Telegraph
'It is about cricket but also about much more: landscape, place, poetry, music, national mythology ... This is the book's authentic register, and it is haunted by loss.' - Jason Cowley, The New Statesman
'Englishness itself, as much as cricket, is the main theme of Michael Henderson's genre-melding That Will Be England Gone ... extremely readable ... often amusing ... That Will be England Gone is part memoir, part sports book, part essay ... Given that this may be a summer without leather and willow, and that coughing has become taboo, Henderson's book provides a much-needed literary-cricketing alternative: a beautiful clearing of the throat.' - Daniel Rey, Spectator
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“Oh my England! her art thou?”
a splendid book on the passions of this fine writer covering much of which I have a deep and long held view .
I've recommended it to all my Cricket chums as we are missing our summer of the great game.
As a lover of cricket, jazz and art, I loved this supremely well written book. Whilst not having anything other than a basic knowledge of classical music, I know enough to have enjoyed his musing on those aspects.... More
“Book to Savour”
To get the most from this you need to be sitting in the sunshine ideally with Elgar or Vaughan Williams playing in the background and with a glass of something suitable. It us part lament and part celebration of all... More
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