Bowl the Maidens Over is COMING SOON!
Review copies are making their ways to reviewers as I finalise formatting on the print copies. Woot! Exciting times! However, behind the scenes as I make my lists, set my presale and release dates and work out all the logistical stuff about releasing a book into the world, I realise I haven’t really told anyone – beside my family and a few select others – what all the fuss is about.
So here goes.
About the book
In 1874 at the Sandhurst Easter Fair, (Bendigo, Victoria) two teams of women cricketers assembled to play a cricket match in front of a rather large and enthusiastic crowd. It was a charity match raising funds for the Bendigo hospital and asylum. Bowl the Maidens Over: Our First Women Cricketers tells the story of these first competitive women’s cricket matches. The book follows the women players – and the members of the Rae family, pivotal in the establishment and organisation of the matches – from the first advertisement in the paper to the media storm that ensued post-game, linking to a present-day connection to an Australian sportswoman.
As told through media reports of the times, this illustrated book visits those first matches and the public’s response. The illustrations give an added dimension to the story, and the extracts from the newspapers give an insight into the public’s mind.
Prior published work about Australian women’s cricket has only offered a short mention of the game. This book expands on those mentions and plays tribute to the early women cricketers. There are names in this book cricket history fans will recognise such as Midwinter, Wills, and of course, the Bendigo United Cricket Club – one of the most influential cricket clubs in Australia in the 1800s.
Even though women’s cricket matches had been played in England on and off since the 1600s (by some accounts), in Australia the women faced both positive and negative critique about the matches. The first women’s cricket association was formed in 1905, so it appeared in this newly developing colony that the 1874 women cricketers were just ahead of their time.
Bowl the Maidens Over: Our First Women Cricketers is a small 100-page illustrated hardcover book and is due for release in June 2021.
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Thanks for reading, and I look forward to sharing more news soon!