Author(s): Duncan Hamilton
Combining reportage, anecdote, biography, history and personal recollection, A Last English Summer is an honest and passionate reflection on cricket's past, present and future.
In 2009 the county system looked directionless and obsolete; more than ever the players blessed with central contracts seemed apart from, rather than a part of, the domestic game; the home Ashes series was for the first time only available on pay-TV; and, of course, the juggernaut of Twenty20 threatened to flatten all but the Test form of the game, suggesting it may soon eclipse even that as well.
Duncan Hamilton has preserved this seminal, convulsing season, which in years to come may be seen as a turning point in the history of cricket. In the process he embarks on a journey - often a deeply personal one - through the history and spirit of the game.
Shortlisted for William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2010.
'[Hamilton's] passion and knowledge shine through... a rich and nostalgic read' - Independent. 'The quality of his writing, so evident in his previous works, shines again' - Mike Atherton, The Times. 'A Last English Summer is above all a beautiful, affectionate and timely reminder that cricket still is - and will be - about one thing most of all: pleasure' - Spectator. '[A] book that achieves more than its ambitions. Hamilton, already the recipient of five prestigious book awards, can confidently expect more to follow for this lyrical, evocative but absolutely timely volume, a kind of travelogue through the English cricketing summer of 2009' - Wisden. 'It is a tribute to his skill that you are rapt even when he describes an under-19s match between teams you've never heard of. He can do this with games played last year... just as well as he can with matches played years ago' - Daily Telegraph.
Duncan Hamilton's Provided You Don't Kiss Me won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year for 2007 and a British Sports Book Award in 2008. In 2009, he was awarded the William Hill, again, for Harold Larwood, as well as winning the prestigious Wisden Book of the Year for 2009 and biography of the year at the 2010 British Sports Book Awards. He lives in West Yorkshire.
Foreword: A Golden Age Sort of a Chap. Why Don't You Come Back When It's Less Busy? For the Islands, He Sang. Taking Tea with Neville Cardus. See the Conquering Hero Comes. And Still the Gas-Works. The Unbelievable Lightness of Fielding. Yes, I'll Remember Aigburth. He That Plays the King. Instead of a Telegram. It's a Clearing Shower in These Parts. On the Shoulders of Giants. Riding the Charabanc to Lord's. The Man in the Unmarked Grave. The Poet of Penrhyn Avenue. The Crimson Petal and the White. First Love, Last Love. A Moral Lesson From Lord Harris. The Captain in the Baggy Green. A Very Perfect Gentle Knight. Author Notes and Acknowledgements. Postscript. Statistics of Summer. Bibliography. Index.