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Echoing Greens

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781408719442

Price: £25

ON SALE: 30th May 2024

Genre: Lifestyle, Sport & Leisure

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The importance of cricket to England has been immortalised in the art and literature of a thousand years. For countless artists and writers across the centuries, the culture and aesthetics of cricket – white-clad players, the crack of bat on ball, booming appeals, admiring applause, figures running up to bowl, batsmen leaning, waiting, swinging the blade – have been as essential to the English landscape as the hills and meadows immortalised by Gainsborough, Constable and Turner.

It is a story that is known in part, but one that has never been explored in full. And it is lined with surprises, forgotten tales and unnoticed details – ranging from medieval manuscript illustrations, through a dazzling variety of visual art, poetry, fiction and drama, to recent portraits of contemporary heroes.

Echoing Greens is a fascinating and thoughtful exploration of the bond between cricket and the English imagination. It unveils that beneath cosy patriotic dreams of ‘English values’, a much wilder, more complex story exists. Alongside stories of heroic figures, noble values, and pastoral idylls, the literature and the art of cricket also tell of vice, violence, and scandal. The result is a thrilling investigation into the true story behind these representations of the game, and forces us to reconsider the history of cricket itself.


[A] comprehensive survey of cricket in the English imaginative arts . . . [Cooper] finds examples of cricket's beguiling, confounding place in the national psyche . . . His engrossing, often surprising book elegantly demonstrates that the game that inspires so much nostalgia can also be beset with conflict and hypocrisy. Which sounds perfect for a nation with as complicated a history, and contested a literature, as England.
There are entertaining titbits. Who knew that HG Wells's father was the first bowler to take four wickets in four balls? Or that Conan Doyle got WG Grace out?
This entertaining, informative book is a delight for any culturally-minded cricket buff
This well-researched study of cricket's representation in art and literature depicts a fascinating social history
Country Life