London, South Kensington
4 May 2006
Original manuscript in Cardus's hand, the text of an article written to celebrate C.B. Fry's forthcoming eightieth birthday on 25 April 1952. 4to., 8p. on rectos only, with the magazine title "Everybody's" in upper left hand margin of first page and note to the printers: "Proof please, c/o National Liberal Club, SW1" in upper right (small waterstain on first leaf), later green half morocco, flat gilt spine.
A GREAT TRIBUTE TO A GREAT CRICKETER. Published in The Spectator, 4 April 1952, and reprinted in Close of Play, 1956 (its publication in Everybody's is not recorded in Cricket Quarterly). With his classical training, adventurism, and exceptional abilities as an all-round sportsman, Fry commands words of the highest admiration from Cardus who calls him "admirable Crichton". We are reminded that Fry was not just a gentleman cricketer but someone who nearly occupied the throne of Albania, "an individual yet representative Englishman who came by his gifts through grace, and expressed them for his own and our pleasure." On a cricket field, "he was the most handsome sight ever seen ... Apollo in flannels, aquiline and nervous with health, living sculpture". After "one day causing wonder and admiration on some field of play", he could send "the next morning ... to 'The Times' translations from the English hymnal into Greek". However, a brilliant resumé of his cricket career occupies most of the text. Cardus asserts that Fry was Bradman's equal, and compares and contrasts Fry with Ranjitinshji, strongly emphasising how the two together "revolutionised batsmanship".
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