Tennis

Introduction | Earliest Book About Tennis | Tennis as a Royal Game
Art of the Paumier-Raquetier | Enlightenment, Revolution & Tennis: Diderot & David
Court Tennis in the 19th Century | Beginnings of the Lawn Tennis
From Recreation to Competition | Some 20th Century Court Tennis Rarities
Stars & Icons of Modern Lawn Tennis | Survival of Court Tennis as an International Sport
Billy Haggard: Sportsman and Bookman | Selected References

 
From Recreation to Competition

The Championship Center Court at Wimbledon

Paret, Jahial Parmly, 1870- .
wimbledonLawn tennis, its past, present, and future, . . . which is added a chapter on lacrosse by William Harvey Maddren.

New York, London: Macmillan, 1904.  Rebound.

The first "Wimbledon" was held by the newly‑rechristened All‑England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club in 1877, but even at the turn of the century, as this illustration shows, attendance during "a famous championship match" seems modest.


Malcolm Whitman on Competitive Tennis

Patten, William, 1868‑1936, ed.
book of sportThe Book of sport.

New York: J. F Taylor & Co., 1903.
DeLuxe edition, volume II, copy 48 of 1500. Original boards, cloth spine.

In his essay "The Theory of Play in Modern Lawn‑Tennis," Malcolm D. Whitman, the 1898‑1900 U.S. Open singles champion, quotes Emerson in commenting on  the American "nervous temperament," and its greater suitability for lawn tennis than for traditional court tennis.  Whitman’s thoughts on the nuances of competitive tennis show how the sport was beginning to move from a nineteenth‑century casual pastime to the skilled professionalism of the early twentieth‑century.  To complement his illustrations for this lavish two‑volume set, the artist William Patten commissioned  accompanying essays by authorities in a variety of sports: Whitman had been captain for America’s first Davis Cup team in 1900, while William A. Larned, portrayed here, was the American captain two years later.
Tennis and the Great War

Williams, Paul Benjamin, 1887-
united states lawn tennis association and the world warUnited States Lawn Tennis Association and the World War.

Preface by Major George Townsend Adee; supplement by George W. Grupp and John A. Ferris.
New York: Robert Hamilton Company, 1921. Original blue cloth.  William D. Haggard III Tennis Collection and Joseph M. Bruccoli Great War Collection.

Like everything else, both court and lawn tennis were changed by World War I.  This book, recently transferred from the stacks, is an official record of the U.S.L.T.A. volunteer ambulance units, and of the tennis club members players who served.
Bill Tilden on Lawn Tennis, 1921

Tilden, William Tatum, 2nd, 1893‑1953.
bill tildenThe Art of Lawn Tennis.

Garden City, NY: Garden City Publishing, 1921. Original cloth, in jacket.

The American champion Bill Tilden was a late bloomer as a player, first coming to prominence in his late twenties, when tournament play resumed after World War I, and dominating the game through the 1920's.  In 1950, a ballot of the nation’s sportswriters voted him the outstanding athlete of the first half of the century.
LaCoste on Lawn Tennis, 1928

LaCoste, Jean René.
jean rene lacosteLacoste on Tennis. . . . containing the Official Rules of the United States Lawn Tennis Association.

With an introduction by William T. Tilden, 2nd.
New York: William Morrow & Company, 1928.  Original green cloth.

LaCoste, son of a wealthy French automobile magnate, first played in the U.S. with the French Davis Cup team in 1923.   Within four years, keeping careful notes on fiches (index cards) of the weaknesses of each player he encountered, he had beaten Tilden twice, in Paris for the French championship and at Forest Hills for the U.S. title.
Helen Wills on Lawn Tennis, 1929

Wihelen willslls, Helen.
Tennis, with illustrations by the author.

New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1929.  Rebound.

In the 20's, Wills had the same star quality in women’s tennis as Tilden and LaCoste had in men’s.

 

 

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