By Tony Collins
From the parable of William Webb Ellis to the consideration of the 2003 global Cup win, this ebook explores the social historical past of rugby union in England.
Ever considering that Tom Brown’s Schooldays the game has visible itself because the father or mother of conventional English middle-class values. during this interesting new heritage, top rugby historian Tony Collins demonstrates how those values have formed the English video game, from the general public colleges to mass spectator game, from strict amateurism to international professionalism.
Based on unheard of entry to the respectable records of the Rugby soccer Union, and drawing on a magnificent array of assets from membership mins to private memoirs and modern literature, the booklet explores in shiny element the major occasions, personalities and avid gamers that experience made English rugby.
From an period of speedy development on the finish of the 19th century, in the course of the negative losses suffered throughout the First global battle and the following ‘rush to rugby’ within the public and grammar colleges, and into the sessions of disorientation and commercialisation within the Nineteen Sixties via to the current day, the tale of English rugby union is additionally the tale of the making of contemporary England.
Like the entire absolute best writers on game, Tony Collins makes use of activity as a prism wherein to higher comprehend either tradition and society. A ground-breaking paintings of either social historical past and recreation background, A Social background of English Rugby Union tells a desirable tale of carrying endeavour, masculine id, imperial ideology, social cognizance and the character of Englishness.
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Extra resources for A Social History of English Rugby Union
As well as this mesh of regulation, the RFU also adopted a codicil that declared all members of NU clubs, whether paid or not, to be professionals, and barred rugby union teams and players from playing on NU grounds. Those unfortunates who were members of NU clubs but wished to retain their amateur status were given until 1 November 1895 to resign from their clubs. Despite the RFU’s desire for an airtight seal against the professional virus, the new regulations carried inherent problems. Although it forbade compensation for ‘time lost to football or in travelling in connection with football’, in the very next clause it explicitly allowed the payment of ‘reasonable hotel or travelling expenses’, offering the potential of practical ambiguity to those seeking a way around the regulations.
28 Effortlessness of course implied a natural ability, and thus superiority over those who had to expend effort. The idea that there was a natural distinction between the tall, slender yet muscular amateur ‘body’ and that of the shorter, stockier professional was also widespread in the decades before the First World War. The ‘amateur body’ was an idealisation of the existing middleclass male physique, and by deﬁnition meant that the generally shorter working-class body could not be that of an amateur.
No longer the preserve of the upper middle classes, it was vigorously played and keenly watched by all sections of society, from the doctor at Harlequins to the docker at Hull Kingston Rovers. But it was not to last. One and all enthusiasts at the game The enormous change that rugby had undergone was a result of the way in which the inﬂuence of Tom Brown’s Schooldays had spread far beyond the narrow strata of the upper middle classes who could afford to send their sons to public school. The novel had almost become a handbook for anyone who wanted to set up a football club.
A Social History of English Rugby Union by Tony Collins