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I've read This Sporting Life

I've watched This Sporting Life

I watched nearly all Oxford RL's home matches in their first two seasons before I moved

I've been to my first Super League match this year

I've watched the Challenge Cup Final every year on the BBC since about 1988

 

I want to know more about this strange new (to me) sport so question for the assembled masses given I drew a blank on Amazon last night:

 

Is there a decent one volume history of UK rugby league from 1895 to the SL era (not as interested in Australia because I'm still trying to get my head around the domestic game from a standing start without complicating it further)?

 

I've got one for Union, and one for cricket - never been bothered at all by football but I'm sure there will be one for them too. So, where do I start? Or isn't there one?

 

Any/all recommendations welcome. Ta.

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I've read This Sporting Life

I've watched This Sporting Life

I watched nearly all Oxford RL's home matches in their first two seasons before I moved

I've been to my first Super League match this year

I've watched the Challenge Cup Final every year on the BBC since about 1988

 

I want to know more about this strange new (to me) sport so question for the assembled masses given I drew a blank on Amazon last night:

 

Is there a decent one volume history of UK rugby league from 1895 to the SL era (not as interested in Australia because I'm still trying to get my head around the domestic game from a standing start without complicating it further)?

 

I've got one for Union, and one for cricket - never been bothered at all by football but I'm sure there will be one for them too. So, where do I start? Or isn't there one?

 

Any/all recommendations welcome. Ta.

 

If you search Tony Collins on amazon you will find his books on the 1895 split and the early history of RL. Not sure there is a publication which goes right through. Graham Morris also does books such as the history of the Challenge Cup and 100 Years of Championship finals.

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thanks for the suggestions so far - I must say that now I know that Tony Collins exists Amazon is throwing up exactly the sort of thing I was looking for.... If you're just googling for eg "history of rugby league" it's less good!

 

any other suggestions welcome though - thanks to everyone who has given their thoughts so far. Bit of a late starter to all this and not from the north so I've got to self-educate on RL...

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I'd recommend Tony Collins' work too.

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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Incidentally, if you are within travelling distance of Salisbury, you might like to note that Tony Collins is speaking soon on the global history of rugby, at this year's arts festival.  It will be interesting to see how a predominantly RU-oriented audience react to what he may have to say!  I, too, would recommend his books, though I sometimes feel he might just be trying to make facts fit a preconceived left-of-centre stance; or maybe I am being unfair...!

 

I understand your comparative lack of interest in Australasia, but you may not want to overlook French rugby league, in which case The Forbidden Game by Mike Rylance is a 'must'.  In fact, I think it's a must whatever your degree of interest in French RL; it is, quite simply, the best sports history book on any sport I have ever read.

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Right, I have bought Tony Collins' 1895 and All That, and Dave Hadfield's Up & Over (which wasn't quite the sort of book that I originally asked about, but looked like it might be a good read). 

 

further suggestions still very much welcome.

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The two Dave Hadfield-edited anthologies, XIII Winters and XIII Worlds are now available in a single volume, although I have looked on Amazon and if you buy second-hand, you can get the separate editions for less overall. They are both very good, especially the second one.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/XIII-Winters-Dave-Hadfield/dp/1851587438/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1463653701&sr=8-1&keywords=xiii+winters+dave+hadfield

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/XIII-Worlds-Pursuing-League-Around/dp/1851587594/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1463653701&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=xiii+winters+dave+hadfield

 

Edit: a third volume, XIII Inspirations, came out last year.

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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Also on the French game, Champagne Rugby by Henri Garcia (transl. Roger Grime) covers the code in general, but focuses on the eventful French tours Down Under in the Fifties and Sixties. It is a short but very entertaining read.

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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A People's Game. Geoffery Moorhouse.

 

Not a particularly good book, but a decent overal starting point I think.

 

At the George - by the same author? It's ~25 years old and is a travelogue as much as a book about RL, but a great read on the worldwide culture of our sport.

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At the George - by the same author? It's ~25 years old and is a travelogue as much as a book about RL, but a great read on the worldwide culture of our sport.

I read that quite recently. I found the first chapter a little heavy going for some reason, maybe just the mood I was in at the time. The rest of the book I really enjoyed. I will be giving that first chapter another chance soon.

 

A free resource here - the Tom Brock Lectures in PDF format: http://library.la84.org/SportsLibrary/TomBrock/ 

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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The much-missed Ray Gent wrote 'Rugby League in its Own Words' a few years back. I've never read it, but for £0.01 on Amazon it might be worth a go.

I can confirm 30+ less sales for Scotland vs Italy at Workington, after this afternoons test purchase for the Tonga match, £7.50 is extremely reasonable, however a £2.50 'delivery' fee for a walk in purchase is beyond taking the mickey, good luck with that, it's cheaper on the telly.

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My life in RL by Stanley Gene pretty much covers the post-war period to the modern day.

:biggrin:

 

His actual autobiography is hugely entertaining and quite, quite bonkers.

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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'The Indomitables' by Colin Thomson covers the 1946 Lions tour to Australia and New Zealand. Tours just aren't like that any more.

 

And 'No Helmets required' by Gavin Willacy, while not a wide historical overview, covers the remarkable and unlikely story of the American All Stars. Very readable, barely believable and a case of what might have been if braver decisions had been made.

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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London League Publications have put out numerous good books over the years, although they're generally more focussed on particular clubs/players.

 

I've found quite a few more on Amazon/e-bay that are probably out of print now too.

Between them, LLP and Scratching Shed Publishing seem to be responsible for the majority of RL books published in this country.

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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Tony Collins is speaking soon on the global history of rugby, at this year's arts festival. It will be interesting to see how a predominantly RU-oriented audience react to what he may have to say! .

Especially as the event is being advertised with the line "His previous books include A Social History of English Rugby Union".

Might be an "interesting" evening!

2014 Challenged Cup Winner
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I've just ordered Eddie Waring's The Great Ones & Other Writings for 1p plus postage from Amazon. Apparently, it is an expanded reissue of the original, and includes his 1946 tour diary. I'll post my impressions when I read it.

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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To Jerusalem and back by Simon Kelner is a great little read. It has a short history of RL as well as big section about the formation of Super League.  The Oval World by Tony Collins is an overview of both codes from the mid 19th century to fairly recently.

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