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Published by Gall & Inglis, 1860.


Ernest Bracebridge WHG KingstonA surprising number of hockey books are published every year and sometimes it takes The Hockey Museum (THM) a while to become aware of them as hockey is not mentioned in the title. In the case of biographies and autobiographies it can take even longer for us to learn of references to our sport. The library at the THM has some 1,500 titles but, if you know of any book that contains a reference to hockey that is not in our list, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The subject of this review was published over 150 years ago and contains a chapter on hockey. It is a book about school days in early Victorian times and gives a very good description of how a match was played at this particular school, the name of which we do not know. The rules described are vaguely similar to how we know hockey was played at that time. The pitch tended to accord with the piece of ground available, often bounded by hedges. There were goals, although not described, with a line twenty yards in front to define the striking area. The number of participants would vary according to how many were available and, in this instance, it was forty-a-side! The game was played in four sessions – so nothing new in the modern rules then! The game finished as a 3-1 win for the team portrayed by the author to be "the good guys".

Not a riveting read but an interesting observation on the game we all love. For those who also play golf there is an interesting chapter on how golf was played 165 years ago with a number of rules very different from today.

This book was only brought to THM's attention at the end of 2015 and, together with other older gems from the library, leads us to conclude that there are hundreds more titles waiting to be discovered.

Editor: the opinions presented in this article are those of the individual assigned to review this particular book. They do not represent the views of The Hockey Museum.


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