Cricket's Burning Passion

£8.99

Berry, ScyldPeploe, Rupert

15/05/2008 | Paperback |

ISBN: 9780413776631


About Cricket's Burning Passion

Foreword by Michael Atherton

The Cricket Society's Book of the Year, 2007

 'My cricket book of the year... A genuinely engrossing story'

Christopher Martin-Jenkins, Chief Cricket Correspondent, The Times

 A must for cricket fans by one of the great cricket journalists of the day – contains amazing new evidence that finally solves the 100 year old mystery of how the Ashes came into being. 

When English cricket 'died at the Oval on 29th August 1882', the mock obituary notice published in the Sporting Times added that 'the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia'. Less than three weeks later the Hon. Ivo Bligh set sail for Australia on board the SS Peshawur with a single objective - to recover those ashes and restore pride to English cricket. By the time the Test series began on 30th December 1882, Bligh had set his heart on another prize as well - the hand of Florence Morphy, a young woman in the employ of Lady Janet Clarke, wife of Sir William and chatelaine of Rupertsville, a grand mansion near Melbourne. 

On board the Peshawur, Bligh was accompanied by six members of his team and five others joined later when the ship reached Suez. The passage to Australia was anything but smooth. The Peshawur was involved in a collision and was compelled to return to Colombo. When the cricketers finally arrived in Australia, much later than planned, they were called upon to fulfil fixtures arranged against local opposition almost before they had unpacked. More cricket matches followed as did the inevitable round of social functions and at one of these Ivo Bligh met Florence Morphy for the first time. Within weeks he had written to his father Lord Darnley, seeking approval to marry.

Bligh and his team won the three match Test series against their hosts by 2-1. The margin was tight, but English pride was restored. A year later, in 1884, he and Florence were finally married.

Cricket's Burning Passion is an historic account of the very first Ashes tour and a love story involving England's aristocratic cricket captain and a young Australian piano teacher. Drawing on previously unseen diaries of Bligh and his wife as well as family memorabilia and hundreds of letters, Scyld Berry and Rupert Peploe have vividly captured the period, the cricket and the beginning of a human story that would endure for more than forty years.

 'One can enjoy Cricket's Burning Passion as cricket history, social history or simply as the engrossing and touching account of a likeable young English aristocrat meeting, wooing and winning the love of his life' The Times

 'My cricket book of the year... A genuinely engrossing story'

Christopher Martin-Jenkins, Chief Cricket Correspondent, The Times

 'In the past year, we have seen a slew of books about this unforgettable contest. But one of the things that was missing... [was] a historical context. [This] thoroughly researched & lovingly detailed book steps into that gap' The Observer

'Beautifully written and rich in detail... Using a wealth of unpublished material the authors provide a host of intriguing revelations' The Sunday Telegraph

 'Thoroughly researched and... well written... A riveting study into what makes the fight for the Ashes so special... A truly great read' The Independent

'A fascinating history. It also contains some interesting additions to the biography of the Ashes urn itself' Wisden Cricketer

 'Superb read made all the more fascinating by the consistent use of letters and diary accounts by Ivo and Florence. You won't be sorry you read this book, a comprehensive account of Ivo's quest to re-capture the ashes and his 1882/3 tour to Australia' 334NotOut.Com

'If you know a lady who likes cricket then this, in an Ashes context, is a sure-fire winner. You all know the story of the Ashes, but you will know little of the highly romantic story behind the legend - England captain the Hon. Ivo Bligh falling in love with a poor Australian piano teacher Florence Morphy and what became of her (Countess of Darnley and a confidante of Queen Mary no less). How the soft-soap merchants of commercial TV have missed this plot is a question. The late Catherine Cookson would have suspected theft' Yorkshire CCC Yearbook 

'one of our finest cricket correspondents... Charming stuff' What's On in London

 'This lovely book sheds new light on the ancient mystery of how the Ashes came to be... Fascinating reading' Berkshire News 

Scyld Berry has been Cricket Correspondent of The Sunday Telegraph since 1993. Since 1978, when he became Cricket Correspondent of The Observer, he has covered every England tour except one. He has also written several cricket books and a travel book about Australia. He lives with his wife and three children in Bristol and plays club cricket for Hinton Charterhouse.

Rupert Peploe is a great-grandson of Ivo and Florence Darnley. He lives in Bristol with his young family and has a business conserving period furniture for museums and the antiques trade. He also paints and plays the Irish fiddle.

Author(s)
 

Scyld Berry

Scyld Berry has been Cricket Correspondent of The Sunday Telegraph since 1993. Since 1978, when he became Cricket Correspondent of The Observer, he has covered every England tour except one. He has also written several cricket books and a travel book about Australia. He lives with his wife and three children in Bristol and plays club cricket for Hinton Charterhouse. 
 
 


 

Rupert Peploe

Rupert Peploe is a great-grandson of Ivo and Florence Darnley. He lives in Bristol with his young family and has a business conserving period furniture for museums and the antiques trade. He also paints and plays the Irish fiddle.


Reviews
 

 

'One can enjoy Cricket's Burning Passion as cricket history, social history or simply as the engrossing and touching account of a likeable young English aristocrat meeting, wooing and winning the love of his life'

The Times

 

 

'My cricket book of the year... A genuinely engrossing story'

Christopher Martin-Jenkins, Chief Cricket Correspondent The Times

 

 

'Beautifully written and rich in detail... Using a wealth of unpublished material the authors provide a host of intriguing revelations'

The Sunday Telegraph

 

 

'Thoroughly researched and... well written... A riveting study into what makes the fight for the Ashes so special... A truly great read'

The Independent

 

 

'A fascinating history. It also contains some interesting additions to the biography of the Ashes urn itself'

Wisden Cricketer

 

 

'Superb read made all the more fascinating by the consistent use of letters and diary accounts by Ivo and Florence. You won't be sorry you read this book, a comprehensive account of Ivo's quest to re-capture the ashes and his 1882/3 tour to Australia'

334NotOut.com

 

 

'If you know a lady who likes cricket then this, in an Ashes context, is a sure-fire winner. You all know the story of the Ashes, but you will know little of the highly romantic story behind the legend - England captain the Hon. Ivo Bligh falling in love with a poor Australian piano teacher Florence Morphy and what became of her (Countess of Darnley and a confidante of Queen Mary no less). How the soft-soap merchants of commercial TV have missed this plot is a question. The late Catherine Cookson would have suspected theft'

Yorkshire Country Cricket Club Yearbook

 

 

'This lovely book not only carries some wonderful photographs but sheds new light on the ancient mystery of how the Ashes came to be... Fascinating reading'

Berkshire News

 

 

'In the past year, we have seen a slew of books about this unforgettable contest. But one of the things that was missing... [was] a historical context. [This] thoroughly researched and lovingly detailed book steps into that gap'

The Observer

 

 

'Berry is one of our finest cricket correspondents... Charming stuff'

What


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