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Gilbert: The Last Years of WG Grace (Hardback)
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Gilbert: The Last Years of WG Grace (Hardback)

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£10.99
Hardback 192 Pages / Published: 08/10/2015
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There are few more instantly recognisable figures, from any era, from any walk of life, than W.G. Grace. With his enormous height, beer-barrel girth and immense beard he was - and remains - a caricaturist's dream. Too much so, in many ways. Arguably the finest and most influential cricketer who ever lived and one of the first true celebrities Grace became a persona rather than a person, racketing up unprecedented amounts of runs and wickets while slowly vanishing behind an increasing swirl of myth and apocrypha. Gilbert is the first examination of Grace to dig beneath the surface, blow the fog of fable and explore the man himself, the human being, and ask what he might have thought and felt. Who, in effect, was W.G. Grace? In the year that marks the centenary of Grace's death, Charlie Connelly charts the final years of his life, from his fiftieth birthday celebrations in 1898 to his death at the age of 67 in 1915, through the eyes of Grace himself. In an unusual take on this most eminent Victorian and extraordinary pioneering sportsman, Connelly draws on contemporary documents and accounts to imagine Grace's progress through his final years. It was no quiet dotage either: he played cricket until a year before his death, captained the England curling team and remained an enthusiastic golfer and shooter to the end. He also dealt with bereavement, ill health and was greatly troubled by the gathering clouds of war. He was, in short, a human being as much as a sporting colossus. Combining facts and imagination, Gilbert is an affectionate and beautifully written account of the Champion's later life that comes closer than ever before to giving a sense of the real W.G. Grace behind the mythology; the perennially childlike soul saddled with the weight of genius. To the public he was The Doctor, The Champion and W.G., but to those who knew him best he was simply Gilbert. This is a book about Gilbert.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781472917584
Number of pages: 192
Weight: 236 g
Dimensions: 180 x 120 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Brilliant ... a wonderful book, and though it's a fiction, it brings us closer to an understanding of the man than any number of facts or any amount of film footage. -- Andy Bull * Guardian *
A touching, convincing and very human portrait of our champion cricketer reluctantly winding down -- David Kynaston
Gilbert has empathy, wit and a little heartbreak. A new way of looking at sport's first superstar -- Jon Hotten * The Old Batsman *
Warm, gentle and poignant. Brings a human dimension to a sportsman who has long been overshadowed by his own legend -- Harry Pearson
Connelly's imagination is warm... and his book is a charming curiosity * Spectator *
This "biography" is ingenious and cheeky * Times Literary Supplement *
It is brief and fictional yet may well bring us as close to an understanding of The Champion as any biography * The Observer *
There has been no shortage of books about W. G. Grace ... but in this Wisden-published title, we have, perhaps, the best of the lot * All Out Cricket *
I wholeheartedly agree with other reviewers that Gilbert is one of the best, certainly most fascinating books on W. G. Grace ... another triumph for the author and Bloomsbury -- Andrew Roberts * www.andrewrobertscricketstatistics.com *
Witty, appreciative of the sport's history, and highly original * www.huffingtonpost.co.uk *
Combining facts and imagination, this is an affectionate and beautifully written account of The Champion's later life -- Rajesh Kumar * www.rajeshkumarcricketstatistician.com *
Gilbert is a novel, not a biography, but it gives us perhaps more insight into the last few years of Grace's life than any biography has done * All Out Cricket *
Gilbert is a retelling of the WG legend which fills in the unknown with imagination and compassion * www.openthemagazine.com *
Charming * www.openthemagazine.com *

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“Not Sure It Works”

Gilbert – An Interesting Fictionalised Account of his Final Years

To any cricket fan W.G. Grace is one of the most formidable characters of all time was the first sport’s real superstar. Even today 100 years since... More

Hardback edition
29th November 2015
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