Rare Books

Cricket boasts one of the oldest and most wide-ranging literary traditions of any sport. Some of its earliest works were published for a very limited circulation and the few surviving copies can command extremely high prices at auction. The books listed below are representative of the range of early cricket literature; from poetry to technical manuals to match records and annuals, the work of William Epps and Samuel Britcher that were the precursors to the very first edition of Wisden. Only eight of the books listed are about cricket. The ninth, the oldest book in our collection, is a 15th century treatise on real tennis by the Italian Antonio Scaino da Salo, the rarest of the treasures in the MCC Library’s extensive collection of books on that sport.

Rare Books

Cricket: an heroic poem, illustrated with the critical observations of Scribblerus Maximus

Author: James Dance

Publisher: Printed for W. Bickerton

Place of publication: London

Year: 1744

Felix on the bat; being a scientific inquiry into the use of the cricket bat; together with the history and use of the catapulta; also, the laws of ...

Author: Nicholas Wanostrocht

Publisher: Baily Brothers, Cornhill

Place of publication: London

Year: MDCCCXLV 1845

Trattato del Giuoco della Palla di Messer

Author: Antonio Scaino da Salo

Publisher: Gabriel Giolito de Ferrari

Place of publication: Venice, Italy

Year: MDLV 1555

The cricketer's almanack for the year 1864

Publisher: John Wisden & Co.

Place of publication: London

Year: 1864