Sporting Illustrations By Booth

Frontispiece by artist J.L.C. Booth in R.C. Lehmann’s Sportsmen and Others.

Bryan Kitch of the eminent blog Rowing Related made a comment regarding the image I used for Wednesday’s entry about R.C. Lehmann’s Sportsmen and Others (1912). Bryan is asking if there are others like it in Lehmann’s book. Yes, there is, but I believe I picked the nicest one to illustrate the entry. The illustrator of Lehmann’s book was J.L.C. Booth, who, in 1898, came out with his own book Sporting Rhymes & Pictures.

Lehmann and Booth probably knew each other from the magazine Punch, where Booth now and then had illustrations published. Although, it is not easy to find information about Booth, he seems to have been a well-respected illustrator. In a review of Sportsmen and Others, the Evening Post of New Zealand writes on 11 May 1912 about the book: “Mr. Booth’s fourteen or fifteen sporting and character sketches suggest (and correctly) a lively book of shrewd observations and wholesome humour.”

In the story “A Putney Waterman” a lady “had a difference with her ‘old man'”, so she flung herself over the railing. “She’d mistook the tide, for the ebb was three-parts run out, and there warn’t more than a foot or two of water where she jumped. [… She said:] ‘Don’t save me, sailor,’ she sez when she see me comin’, ‘I’ve sworn to die.’ ‘So you shall, ma’am,’ I sez, ‘some other day.”

“[…] it may be said of coxswains that they are not so much individual men as members of a tribe or secret society formed entirely of male human beings weighing on an average 8 stone. They have meeting-places where they come together to devise the torments which later on they inflict on their fellow-mortals. The have signs and passwords.” In “Coxswains”.

One comment

  1. Thanks very much for the kind words, as well as the follow up! Love the bit about coxswains, and the illustration of the coach working on the bows is further evidence of Booth's familiarity with the sport, it appears. Cheers!

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