The achievements of the great Victorian cricketer continue to fascinate. Even a hundred years after his death he is still widely written about, not least because his highly combative style of play has such modern resonances. W.G. Grace: In the Steps of a Legend offers a very special approach to the enigma that is W.G.: an exploration that takes the reader on a series of journeys of discovery. As places of particular significance to Grace and his family are visited, so the story of this great sporting celebrity steadily unfolds.
Highlights include visits to W.G.'s wedding, where the evangelical Graces wreak havoc in a West Brompton church; Australia, seen afresh through the eyes of the newly married Mrs Agnes Grace; a long-lost ground in Grimsby, where we meet the forgotten twenty-two locals who fielded for three days while W.G. scored 400; the County Ground, Bristol, where we hold in our hands the very bat with which W.G. scored his hundredth 100; and The Oval, where, in the first ever home Test Match, W.G. and two of his brothers were representing England under the critical gaze of their mother and uncle, the redoubtable Martha and Alfred.
It is a highly entertaining journey, bringing many fresh insights en route, as the man behind the legend comes vividly into focus.
Anthony Meredith has written widely on music, the theatre, the arts, Silverstone and cricket. A long-time member of M.C.C., he was for several years a regular contributor to The Cricketer. Other interests include music (major biographies on composers Malcolm Arnold, Malcolm Williamson and Richard Rodney Bennett) and dance - he was involved in creating scores for Northern Ballet's The Three Musketeers and The Great Gatsby. He lives in Buckingham.