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INTRODUCTION
 
EARLIEST BOOK ABOUT TENNIS
 
TENNIS AS A ROYAL GAME
 
ART OF THE PAUMIER-RACQUETIER
 
ENLIGHTENMENT, REVOLUTION & TENNIS: DIDEROT & DAVID
 
COURT TENNIS IN THE 19TH CENTURY

BEGINNINGS OF 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
 
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Tennis as a Royal Game


"Tennis balls, my liege": The French Dauphin’s sneer and Henry V’s reply

Shake
speare, William, 1564-1616.
Mr. William Shakespeare's comedies, histories, and tragedies.  Published according to the true original copies.  The Second Impression.

London: Printed by Tho. Cotes, for Robert Allot, and are to be sold at his shop at the signe of the Blacke Beare in Pauls Church-yard, 1632.
Bookplate of Sir William Nigel Gresley. Later calf.

During the Hundred Years War between the English and the French, in which the English kings claimed sovereignty over much of northern and western France, the French crown prince sent the English king a gift of tennis balls, mocking his youth.  Henry V ’s response uses several specialized tennis terms (set, hazard, court, chase), indicating the developed state of the game, if not in Henry V’s time, certainly in Shakespeare’s.  Henry made good his threat at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, but a hundred years later, in 1522, King Henry VIII utilized tennis in international diplomacy, partnering the Emperor Charles V against the Prince of Orange and the Marquis of Brandenburg in eleven games during the Emperor’s state visit to London.


King James VI & I advises his son to play "the caitch or tennise"

James I, King of England [and VI of Scotland], 1566-1625.
"Basthe workes of the most high and mightie, iamesilicon Doron, or His Majesties Instructions to His Dearest Sonne, Henry the Prince," in
The workes of the most high and mightie prince, Iames, by the grace of God, king of Great Britaine, France and Ireland, defender of the faith, &c.
London, Printed by Robert Barker and Iohn Bill, printers to the Kings Most Excellent Maiestie. Anno 1616-20.  First edition, second issue. Later calf.

James wrote this book of advice on the proper education for Renaissance prince in 1598, when his eldest son Prince Henry was only four, including tennis among the "exercises of the bodie most commendable," "such honest games and pastimes, as may further abilitie and maintaine health." 


King Charles II plays tennis, and loses weight

Pepys, Samuel, 1633-1703.

Memoirs of Samuel Pepys . . . : comprising  his diary from 1659 to 1669, deciphered by the Rev. John Smith . . . from the original short- hand ms. in the Pepysian Library; and a selection from his private correspondence edited by Richard, Lord Braybrooke.

2 vols. London: Henry Colburn, 1825. First edition.  Contemporary sprinkled calf.

While court tennis was frowned on by the Puritans, the restoration of the Stuart monarchy in 1660 led to its revival.  The diarist Samuel Pepys (who recorded his comments in shorthand code, first deciphered for this edition) was a sharp observer of royal vanity.  In 1664, he noted that "to see how the King’s play was extolled, without any cause at all, was a very loathsome sight, though sometimes, indeed, he did play very well," and here in 1667, he noted how the King weighed himself before and after each game.

 
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