Very Good. Item #9589
Philadelphia: George W. Jacobs & Company, . First American Edition. Octavo (23x15x5cm); xvi + 390pp, including winner tables, five appendices, and index. Fifty-nine photographic illustrations on coated paper, tipped in. Bound in true linen, originally moss green, with white printing on spine and front panel. Textblock of heavy ivory wove paper, untrimmed fore- and bottom edge. Bookplate of previous owner on front pastedown.
Binding shows browning at all edges and spine; lettering on spine and front panel darkened. Scuffs and rubbing on all surfaces, but joints and hinges solid, and the sturdy linen itself is unfrayed and unweakened. Slight foxing in early pages, induced by the tissue guard for the frontispiece photograph; remainder of textblock shows barely any.
Rudolph Chambers Lehmann (1856-1929) was a longstanding contributor to Punch, a founding editor of Granta, and would eventually serve as an MP. Along the way he coached rowing at Oxford and Cambridge, and was hailed as the sport's leading authority.
His volume is at once a history, a contemporary survey, and a how-to manual for sculling and oarsmanship. This volume, published in Philadelphia the same year—and from the same plates (and printer)—as the Methuen edition in London, is Brit-focused through and through: Harvard and Yale get barely passing mentions. The volume is a prize for the photographs alone, which capture the actual types who inspired Eakins and Leyendecker, and would later fill many a Merchant-Ivory scene.
The bookplate motto of Fred M. Hinch, presumable first owner, is "Labor ipse Voluptas." "Work itself is pleasure." He lived in a world better than ours.