Cloth $27.50 ISBN: 9780226371283 Published May 2016 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
E-book $18.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226371313 Published May 2016 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada Also Available From
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Love Game

A History of Tennis, from Victorian Pastime to Global Phenomenon

Elizabeth Wilson

Love Game

Elizabeth Wilson

352 pages | 19 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2016
Cloth $27.50 ISBN: 9780226371283 Published May 2016 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
E-book $18.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226371313 Published May 2016 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
Tennis has never been played better than it is today. To watch Rafael Nadal spin a forehand at 4000 rpm, Maria Sharapova arabesque out of a serve, Serena Williams utterly destroy a short ball, or Roger Federer touch a volley into an impossibly angled winner is to watch not only the best players with the best coaching hitting with the best racquets, it is to watch the culmination of an entire history. Love Game is different from most tennis books—it isn’t a ghostwritten biography, and it won’t teach you how to slice your serve. It’s a book about tennis’s grand culture, one that unveils the sport’s long history as it lives and breathes (or grunts) in the modern game.
           
No one is better equipped to tell this story than novelist and historian Elizabeth Wilson. With a penchant for tennis’s inherent drama, she finds its core: a psychological face off between flamboyant personalities navigating the ebbs and flows of fortune in the confines of a 78 x 36–foot box—whether of clay, grass, or DecoTurf. Walking the finely kempt lawns of Victorian England, she shows how tennis’s early role as a social pastime that included both men and women—and thus, lots of sexual tension—set it apart from most other sports and their dominant masculine appeal. Even today, when power and endurance are more important than ever, tennis still demands that the body behave gracefully and with finesse. In this way, Wilson shows, tennis has retained the vibrant spectacle of human drama and beauty that have always made it special, not just to sports fans but to popular culture.
           
Telling the stories of all the greats, from the Renshaw brothers to Novak Djokovic, and of all the advances, from wooden racquets to network television schedules, Wilson offers a tennis book like no other, keeping the court square in our sights as history is illuminated around it.    
Contents
1 The game of love

PART ONE: A LEISURED CLASS

2 Healthy excitement and scientific play
3 Real tennis and the scoring system
4 The growth of a sporting culture
5 On the Riviera
6 What’s wrong with women?
7 A match out of Henry James
8 The lonely American
9 The Four Musketeers
10 Working-class heroes
11 Tennis in Weimar – and after
12 As a man grows older
13 Three women

PART TWO: THIS SPORTING LIFE

14 Home from the war
15 Gorgeous girls
16 Opening play
17 Those also excluded
18 Tennis meets feminism

PART THREE: THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT

19 Bad behaviour
20 Corporate tennis
21 Women’s power
22 Vorsprung durch Technik
23 Celebrity stars
24 Millennium tennis
25 The rhetoric of sport
26 Back to the future

Bibliography
References
Acknowledgements
Photo credits
Index
Review Quotes
New York Times
“Weaves a wandering, eccentric path through the century and a half since modern tennis’s founding as a boxed game called Sphairistike. . . . Wilson drop-shots mini-essays on broader intellectual topics.”
Literary Review
“A richly textured history distilled through an illuminating private passion.”
Observer
“A sporting history unlike any I've read—one that, in its sophistication and thoughtfulness, shows up the hollowness of most other accounts.”
Saga
“A love-all letter to the beautiful, sweaty, glorious, grunting game.”
Jane Leavy | Wall Street Journal
“Ms. Wilson’s is an original and provocative mind at work.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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