W.G.'s Birthday Party by David Kynaston
"On a hot July morning in 1898 the cricketing world gathered at Lord's to pay homage to the greatest exponent of the game it had ever known. The occasion was Dr W.G. Grace's 50th birthday. Shortly after noon, to a volley of thunderous applause, he led out his team of gentlemen to do battle against the players: the historic annual contest between amateurs and professionals was about to begin. This moment, more than any other, was the apogee of cricket's Golden Age, a summation of artistry, colour and individuality crowned by one giant, indestructable force." David Kynaston not only evokes the magnificence of the occasion and describes what turned out to be a thrilling match, but goes beyond the boundary to reveal the colourful lives and sometimes tragic fates of its participants, whilst offering an insight into the late Victorian world.