Monday, August 28, 2017

On Form - a new book by Mike Brearley

In yesterday's post on Rowan Atkinson's schoolmaster sketch I mentioned my hero the former England cricket captain Mike Brearley.

As I once wrote:
When Brearley became England's captain in 1977 it was almost as though Jonathan Miller or Michael Frayn had been put in charge. 
Brearley was a representative of liberal North London in an age when cricket was still run by the Establishment. He was part of a more enlightened tendency within the game which embraced such figures as John Arlott and the Revd David Sheppard and had its finest hour when South Africa objected to the selection of Basil D'Olivera for England's 1968-9 tour ...
I was studying philosophy at York during Brearley's first spell as England captain, and we were proud, if a little disappointed, to learn that he had once applied for a lectureship in our department and been turned down.
Anyway, I have discovered this morning that Brearley has a new book coming out - On Form - and he will be promoting it at literary festivals in the autumn.

Judging by the review behind The Times paywall, On Form is discursive and has more to do with psychoanalysis (Brearley's later profession) than cricket.

Which means that a better introduction to his work may be The Art of Captaincy, which has been republished a couple of times since he wrote it in the 1980s.

And look on Amazon for the books he wrote about his three successful Ashes series as England captain: The Return of the Ashes, The Ashes Retained and Phoenix from the Ashes.

I have never seen the anthology Freudian Slips that turns up there too.

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