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Title: Cricket's forgotten past : a social and cultural history of the game in the West Riding of Yorkshire, 1820-1870
Author: Light, Robert F.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2699 6299
Awarding Body: De Montfort University
Current Institution: De Montfort University
Date of Award: 2008
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Whilst eighteenth and late nineteenth century cricket has attracted a limited amount of academic research, the sport's transitional development between 1820 and 1870 remains largely neglected. During these five decades the growth of a modern urban and industrial society had a major impact upon sport and leisure. This study, therefore, examines the development of cricket in one of the key areas of economic and social change: the West Riding of Yorkshire. Rather than cricket's predominantly southern based contemporary literature, which was involved in constructing an elite view of the sport, this study is based upon an extensive examination of previously neglected primary sources, including local newspapers and club archives. Through this material, supplemented by a careful examination of the wider literature, this study provides an original 'bottom up' account of cricket as a key component in the complex process of transition from traditional to modern forms ofsport.The research has identified five key themes - competition, commercialism, the club and the community, professionalism and culture and identity - which form the basis for successive chapters. Through this thematic analysis the relationship between sport's pre-modern structure and culture and the dynamic urban industrial growth that took place in the region is explored. The impact of cricket upon new developments in sport and leisure is then identified as the sport established a distinctive character in the West Riding. In particular, the significance of 'gentleman amateur' values, which came to dominate cricket during the latter part ofthis period, is considered. Events in the region are subsequently used to offer an alternative view ofthe impact this elite conception had upon the sport, in relation to issues such as professionalism, commercialism and county cricket. Throughout the study, major themes in the wider historiography of nineteenth century leisure are also considered. Key theories, such as the early nineteenth century 'vacuum' in recreation, the role of diffusion from above and the continuity of established traditions, are examined through the growth of West Riding cricket
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available