Win a Family Weekend Break with Lovereading and VisitWiltshire - click here for details...

make the most of Lovereading book price comparison
Search our site
The Last Summer by Andree Michaud Read the opening extract of the brand new Andree Michaud book before its publication on 25/01/2018

Mr Darley's Arabian High Life, Low Life, Sporting Life: A History of Racing in 25 Horses by Chris McGrath
  

Mr Darley's Arabian High Life, Low Life, Sporting Life: A History of Racing in 25 Horses

Sport from the Armchair   Biography / Autobiography   All Shortlists and Winners   

Lovereading view...

Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2016.

The story of racing told through the bloodline of twenty-five exceptional horses. With a canvas that extends from the diamond mines of South Africa to the trenches of the Great War, and a cast ranging from Smithfield meat salesmen to the inspiration for Mr Toad, and from legendary jockeys to not one, but two disreputable Princes of Wales (and a very unamused Queen Victoria), Mr Darley's Arabian shows us the many faces of the sport of kings.

Synopsis

Mr Darley's Arabian High Life, Low Life, Sporting Life: A History of Racing in 25 Horses by Chris McGrath

Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award In 1704 a bankrupt English merchant sent home the colt he had bought from Bedouin tribesmen near the ruins of Palmyra. Thomas Darley hoped this horse might be the ticket to a new life back in Yorkshire. But he turned out to be far more than that: and although Mr Darley's Arabian never ran a race, 95% of all thoroughbreds in the world today are descended from him. In this book, for the first time, award-winning racing writer Christopher McGrath traces this extraordinary bloodline through twenty-five generations to our greatest modern racehorse, Frankel. The story of racing is about man's relationship with horses, and Mr Darley's Arabian also celebrates the men and women who owned, trained and traded the stallions that extended the dynasty. The great Eclipse, for instance, was bred by the Duke who foiled Bonnie Prince Charlie's invasion (with militia gathered from Wakefield races) and went on to lead the Jockey Club. But he only became a success once bought and raced by a card-sharp and brothel-keeper - the racecourse has always brought high and low life together. McGrath expertly guides us through three centuries of scandals, adventures and fortunes won and lost: our sporting life offers a fascinating view into our history.

Reviews

'An excellent history ... McGrath is one of the finest sportswriters of this generation ... Brilliant' -- David Walsh SUNDAY TIMES

'A racing book like no other - a book of remarkable scope' -- Robin Oakley THE SPECTATOR

'Erudite, wry and astute ... extraordinary horses and a rich seam of cultural history woven into a fascinating book' -- Melanie Reid THE TIMES, Book of the Week

'A vivid, sweeping history of impressive scope. McGrath's eye for a story and eloquent turns of phrase will delight' -- Nick Pulford RACING POST

'A racy gallop ... a teeming, colourful survey [with] a great deal to inform and entertain' -- Nicholas Clee OBSERVER

'An engaging tale of scandals, adventures and fortunes won and lost' HORSE MAGAZINE

'A dark horse contender' EVENING STANDARD

About the Author

Chris McGrath was racing correspondent at the Independent for seven years and has won multiple awards, including racing journalist of the year. This is his first book.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999

Author

Chris McGrath

More books by Chris McGrath
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Publisher

Format

Hardback

Categories

Sport from the Armchair
Biography / Autobiography
All Shortlists and Winners


ISBN

9781848549838

Insightful reader reviews and unbiased recommendations. I don't know how I chose books before Lovereading! An essential for all book lovers.

Sarah Harper

I love the honest opinions, recommendations for every genre and every reader, wish lists and Like for Like.

Amrita Dasgupta

If you LOVE reading then you will love LOVEREADING! It's a 'novel' idea. Seriously though I could not recommend them enough.

Rebecca Whymark

Lovereading has all the new books and also suggestions for 'similar' authors whilst waiting for your favourites new books.

Carol Peace

I love the newsletter with reviews of all the new books coming out. Can't wait to open it when it arrives in my inbox.

Rachel Aygin

I love reading because my cares & woes vanish for an hour or two whilst I read of the joys, adventures, lives of the characters in the book.

Jennifer Moville

Lovereading recommends, honestly reviews and promotes books-what more can I say?!

Rachel Bridgeman

I read new, exciting writers and established authors before publication and there is a great website full of brilliant books and opinions.

Lynda

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools