Despite its faults, this book has the merit of being the first biography on the legendary Australian batsman, Victor Trumper (1877–1915). Young cricket lovers of today may well ask what feats of batsmanship Trumper performed to deserve this handsomely produced volume about him. After all, his test average was only 39.04, not to be spoken of in the same breath as Don Bradman’s 99.96.
Cricket is a remarkably fickle game. As Greg Chappell went about season 1981–82 collecting ducks as successfully as any Balinese farmer, Ray Robinson might well have rued his final line on one of Australia’s most-ever favoured batsmen: ‘At thirty-two he had achieved the kind of fame that needs no Academy Award of a foot-high golden statuette.’