A Guide to Tennis in Napoleon’s France
Principles of Tennis.
Sir Richard Hamilton, Bt. Foreword by Lord Aberdare.
Oxford : Ironbark/Ronaldson Publications,
1987. Original cloth, in jacket. Inscribed by Hamilton "To Bill Haggard, in
remembrance of the happy games we had at Moreton Morell."
son of the royal paumier under Louis Quinze and himself a professional,
published his Régles et principes de paume in 1800. Shown here are his
comments on the changing economics of tennis, as royal patronage replaced by a
complex interplay of tennis professionals, court owners, rentiers, challenges,
and betting. The court at Moreton Morrell, Warwickshire, built a a private
court by an American in 1905, has survived to become an independent club.
Tennis Champion of the Early Nineteenth Century
engraving. S.l.: s.n., . Donated by Janet Haggard Harkins.
J. Edmond Barre (1822‑1873), son of a tennis professional in Grenoble and Paris, first
came to notice as a tennis player in the late 1820's, when the restored French
royal court revived the game. Barre made his living from tennis contests, both
in France and Britain, and in 1855 became royal paumier (tennis
professional) to the Emperor Napoleon III. His career was only ended by the
Franco‑Prussian War and the Siege of Paris, leaving him to die impoverished.
The First Book
on Tennis in English, 1822
A Treatise on
Tennis, by a Member of the Tennis Club.
London: Rodwell and Martin, 1822.
reprint, with introduction by Michael Wooldridge, Oxford:
Publications, 1991. No. 89 of 100 copies, in original cloth.
nineteenth‑century England, tennis, like cricket and other sports, developed as
a club sport where upper‑class amateurs and the professionals who managed the
proprietary and club courts competed together with mutual respect. Lukin was
secretary of the James Street Court in the Haymarket, built originally in 1675,
and by the 1820's the only London tennis court still open (though the Prince
Regent briefly revived tennis at Hampton Court Palace in 1818). In the passage
displayed here, Lukin argues the superiority of tennis over its chief
contemporary rival, cricket, as cricket’s equal in physical demand and its
superior in intellectual strategy.
in Early Nineteenth‑Century Britain
Games with the
Ball –Tennis: the Court at Lord’s
Chromolithograph. London: Groom, Wilkinson, n.d.
Janet Haggard Harkins.
the home ground, and club‑house, for the Marylebone Cricket Club, the governing
body for the sport. At the request of club members, a tennis court was built
there, opening in 1839, and soon became the venue for major championship and
The Revival of
Le Jeu de
Paume, Son Histoire & Sa Description.
Paris: Didier, 1862. Original red cloth, gilt, with
book, the product of tennis’s re‑emergence in France during the Second Empire,
set the pattern for several subsequent books about the game: part description,
part guide to rules and strategy, but also solemnly aware of the history and
past glories of the sport, and seeking to document their survival with lists,
and selected portraits, of the champion players (both English and French) of the
then‑modern era. Only four North American libraries are recorded as holding
copies of the book: the Haggard Collection makes Thomas Cooper Library the
Tennis Champion of the Mid-Nineteenth Century
engraving, ["Print no. 10"]. S.l.: s.n.. Donated by Janet Haggard Harkins.
"Biboche" (Charles Delahaye, 1825-1906) was the son of a tennis-court keeper
from Amiens and a pupil of Barre. In 1848 and again in 1851 he defeated
the leading British players in London, and from 1861-his retirement in 1896 he
was the maitre-paumier at the Tuileries.
British History of Tennis
The Annals of
London: "The Field" Office, 1878. Quarto,
original brown pictorial cloth.
book, originally contributed as articles to the sporting periodical The Field,
and issued both in folio and quarto format, remains the source from which many
later books on tennis history are taken. Lord Aberdare, himself author of two
histories of tennis, described it as the most scholarly book on the game,
"comprehensive and authoritative." Marshall, a musicologist and print
collector, prints a remarkable array of literary and historical references to
tennis, as well as discussing the finer points of tennis strategy. Intact
copies are rare as the book was frequently kept in the dedans of tennis courts
Marginality of Court Tennis
British rural sports: comprising shooting, hunting, coursing, fishing, hawking,
racing, boating, pedestrianism, and the various rural games and amusements of
entirely rev., with additions. London: Routledge, Warnes, & Routledge, 1859.
Quarter‑calf, in two volumes.
devoted to tennis can give a misleading picture of its condition. This popular
overview of a wide range of country sports and athletic activity devotes less
than a column to tennis, concluding that "As the player cannot play without a
regular racket‑court, . . .it is useless to attempt here more than a general
idea of the game. It is not much played except in London and some few of the
large cities of the kingdom."
in Later Nineteenth‑Century Britain
intended to Explain the Game of Tennis.
From a 19th Century
Print in the possession of the Manchester Tennis and Racquet Club.
court in the northern industrial city of Manchester opened in 1880, but the
print reproduced here (from a later Manchester tennis championship program) appears to
be antedate that period.
in a Late Victorian Sporting Series
John Moyer, with contributions by A. Lyttelton and W.C. Marshall, et al.
Tennis; Rackets; Fives.
Library of Sports and Pastimes.
edition. London: Longmans, Green, 1900. Original pictorial cloth.
Also: Second edition, red half morocco.
late Victorian series, edited nominally by the Duke of Beaufort, includes in
this volume sections on both tennis and lawn tennis. The frontispiece
illustration depicts the Royal Tennis Court at Hampton Court Palace, with open
side‑windows with curtains; the windows were glassed in only in the late 1880's.