On 10 November I asked if anyone knew about a fiction story on rowing by Hylton Cleaver, who was a sport journalist and author of books for young boys. I know of several novels by Cleaver in which he tells the stories of boys boxing and playing cricket and Rugby football, but rowing, sadly not. On 13 November Tim Koch published a nice piece about Cleaver, which had a link to many of the titles of his novels, but nothing stood out as being about rowing. Then slightly more than a week ago, Tim sent me a link to a book by Cleaver on eBay, The Vengeance of Jeremy (1953). The cover was ripped, but on the spine one could see a ‘rowing scene’. I looked around on the web and found a copy with a nice dust-jacket, and ordered it right away.
The book arrived just before Thanksgiving, and I am happy to report that here it is, a fictional story by Hylton Cleaver that actually involved rowing, and rowing at Henley Royal Regatta, I might add. However, Cleaver does not miss the opportunity to mention also the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race, Head of the River, and the Doggett’s Coat and Badge Race. To be really honest, to a reader of today the story-line might seem a little weak, but to a young English boy, who read it now almost sixty years ago, he would probably indulge it with delight.
On top is the cover and the spine, and on the right is the frontispiece. Please contact me if you know of any other titles of fictional works by Hylton Cleaver that involves rowing.