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2001 North American Society for Sports History Book of the Year
This volume studies the formative period of racing between 1790 and 1914. This was a time when, despite the opposition of a respectable minority, attendance at horse races, betting on horses, or reading about racing increasingly became central leisure activities of much of British society.
International Journal of the History of Sport
"a significant scholarly examination of a complex topic from which much can be learned of the intricate overlapping of leisure culture and social class in nineteenth-century Britain. To convey to the reader both sophisticated analysis and a generalised "feel" for the subject matter is no mean achievement"
Journal of Contemporary History
"a good, generally well-written and often cogently-argued text from the empirical tradition which sets out to question some of the assumptions about class-divided sports which have appeared in recent works"
Journal of Social History
"a very important and enjoyable book"
"In this book (Huggins) demonstrates energy, enthusiasm and historiographical skill in abundance...one of our most prolific sports historians"
Review,University of East Anglia
"can be read with interest and profit not only by those interested in horse racing and sports in general but also the broader social history of Britain