New Rowing Book: A Yank at Cambridge – B.H. Howell: The Forgotten Champion

Hunting Howell (on the right) with his coach, the professional sculler Bill East. Courtesy of the National Rowing Foundation.
Hunting Howell (on the right) with his coach, the professional sculler Bill East. Courtesy of the National Rowing Foundation.

Today HTBS editor Göran R Buckhorn publishes his book A YANK AT CAMBRIDGE – B.H. Howell: The Forgotten Champion about Benjamin Hunting Howell, an American who rowed and sculled in England in the late 1890s, first for Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and later for Thames RC.

Göran writes:

The other day, I finally managed to fulfill a promise I made to Hart Perry – a promisea long-time in the making. Allow me to explain:

Hart Perry (1933-2011)
Hart Perry (1933-2011)

In the spring of 2009, Hart Perry, then executive director of the National Rowing Foundation (NRF), showed me an old photo album that had just been donated to the organisation. The donor was Frederick Elliott, who had rowed for Hart at Kent School, Connecticut. Elliott had received the photo album from relatives of his step-grandmother, Juliette Katharine Howell Brandi. The album had once belonged to Brandi’s uncle, Benjamin Hunting Howell (1875-1953), of New York, who had studied at Trinity Hall, Cambridge University, England, between 1894 and 1898.

While studying at Trinity Hall, B.H. Howell began to row and he became a very successful oarsman, first at ‘the Hall’ and later for the Tideway club, Thames Rowing Club. The thirty-one black & white photographs in Howell’s album show him rowing and sculling at Henley Royal Regatta, in the Wingfield Sculls, the amateur championship of the Thames and Great Britain in the single sculls, and attending some social events in Cambridge.

Hart loved the images in the photo album and I, too, became thrilled about Howell’s accomplishments at the oars across the pond in the late 1890s. Of course, Hart realised my interest and soon I had promised him to do some research about Howell. What I then thought was going to be a ‘report’ on 20 pages on Howell and his rowing, has now become a 152-page book about the American oarsman, A YANK AT CAMBRIDGE – B.H. Howell: The Forgotten Champion, which is being published officially today, Wednesday 10 June.

The Trinity Hall crew that won the 1897 Head of the River. Courtesy of the Master and Fellows of Trinity Hall, Cambridge University.
The Trinity Hall crew that won the 1897 Head of the River. Courtesy of the Master and Fellows of Trinity Hall, Cambridge University.

This ‘rowing biography’ about Hunting Howell not only presents the American rower, it also depicts many of his contemporary oarsmen: ‘Old Blues’ from Oxford and Cambridge, amateur and professional scullers, legendary rowing coaches and rowing scribes – amongst them, Rudie Lehmann, Adam Bell, Charles Psotta, Guy Nickalls, Vivian Nickalls, Owen Seaman, Charles Courtney, Rupert Guinness, Stanley ‘Muttle’ Muttlebury, William Dudley-Ward, Edward ‘Ned’ Hanlan Ten Eyck, Bill East, Walter ‘Guts’ Woodgate, William Fletcher, Harry ‘Blackie’ Blackstaffe, George Towns, Theodore Cook, William Grenfell, Raymond Etherington-Smith, Frederick Kelly and Ernest Barry.

Among the clubs mentioned in the book are: Trinity Hall BC, Thames RC, Leander Club, Cornell University, London RC, New College, Eton College, Third Trinity, Jesus College (Cambridge), Vesta RC, Trinity College (Dublin) and many, many more.

AYankAtCambridge -coverHow to order your copy:

USA
Mystic Seaport Bookstore, Mystic, Connecticut, (1-)860-572-5386
Bank Square Books, Mystic, Connecticut, (1-)860-536-3795

Great Britain
(We are working on getting it to Richard Way Book Shop, Henley-on-Thames)

Or ask your local book shop to order a copy through Ingram Book Distributors

Online Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk

A Yank at Cambridge – B.H. Howell: The Forgotten Champion
by Göran R Buckhorn
Published by ‘Hear The Boat Sing’ (HTBS)
On sale date: 10 June 2015 • ISBN: 9780578162898 • Price: $18.00/£12.00
Website: www.heartheboatsing.com
E-mail: heartheboatsing@gmail.com
Twitter: @boatsing

Hunting Howell (bow) in a pair with Adam Bell in 1898. Bell, who had rowed at Eton, was a remarkable oarsman. He won every open event on the River Cam.
Hunting Howell (stroke) in a pair with Adam Bell in 1898. Bell, who had rowed at Eton, was a remarkable oarsman. He won every open event on the River Cam. Courtesy of the National Rowing Foundation.

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