"There are many things to admire in this book. The opening chapter, for example, provides one of the best summaries of sport and literature I have read in a long time. Bale's close readings of his chosen texts are both sensitive and intelligent, bringing out many new perspectives on the writers. His defence of his subject - the oppositional literature of sport and body culture - is vigorous and persuasive, and set within a wealth of references. "
"...this is a fascinating book. It has something of the 'showstopper' quality about it."
Jeffrey Hill, De Montfort University
"Bale’s central achievement is to demonstrate the rich potential within
literature in its broadest sense for the sports historian. Bale takes the
reader on a journey across time and space, into writers’ imaginations but
also connected with the real concerns of the age in which they were
"Bale’s willingness to reveal the complexities of his chosen authors, and to
link their writings directly to their life and times, makes for a fascinating
Paul Dimeo, University of Stirling
John Bale is professor emeritus of Sports Studies at Keele University, UK, and an honorary professor at Queensland University, Australia, and De Montfort University, UK.