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David Frith’s acclaimed biography of Archie Jackson, Australian cricket’s doomed batting genius, still stands as the definitive account of a sporting life cut heartbreakingly short. Celebrating Frith’s book as one of cricket literature’s “must-read” volumes, Mike Coward wrote of Jackson: “He was a cricketer who had been kissed by the gods; a batsman who evoked in old men memories of the immortal Victor Trumper; a batsman who, dare it be said, stood comparison with Don Bradman.” When Jackson died in 1933, at the tender age of 23, Australian cricket descended into a period of grief not experienced again until the tragic death of Phillip Hughes some 81 years later. Like Hughes, Jackson was a NSW batting prodigy revered by teammates and cricket lovers alike. Crestfallen fans flocked to his funeral, where the pallbearers included Bradman, Victor Richardson, Bill Woodfull and Bill Ponsford. When Frith’s first iteration of this classic biography was published in 1974, in a limited edition, it became the rarest of publishing phenomenon: an award-winner and an immediate collector’s item. In its foreword, England’s legendary fast bowler, Harold Larwood, wrote of Archie Jackson: “You just had to find a place in your heart for a fellow like him.” In this new edition, Archie Jackson—Cricket’s Tragic Genius, Frith has revised and updated the story, adding precious new material gleaned during a lifelong of devotion to his subject.
*“A pearl of diligent research and another remarkable book” – Ian Wooldridge
“At least in the pages of cricket literature Jackson is assured a long life. And for that we are all a little richer.” – Mike Coward
“One of the most romantic figures, whose memory haunts thought of that period.” – John Arlott.*
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: David Frith is an award-winning cricket historian and writer, and the author of 35 books on the game. Born in London, he emigrated to Australia in 1949, but found fame upon his return to England, where he took up the editorship of The Cricketer. Between 1979 and 1996, he was the founding editor of Wisden Cricket Monthly, an award-winning cricket magazine with a legion of admirers around the world. He lives in Guildford, Surrey.
Daniel Seaton review - Archie Jackon by David Frith - January–February 2021
Archie Review Cricketer