Wilfrid M. de Freitas - Bookseller

Home | Conditions of sale, and orders

Rowing and Boating

Sports and Games | Winter Sports | Golf
Tennis and Other Racket Sports | Fencing and Swordsmanship

A New Course!

This is one of our favourite lists, despite the fact that we can barely tell the difference between a punt, a skiff and - a rowboat. We just like these books and the people who collect them. So here's a selection of books on rowing and other boating sports - and we've even included an item or two on yachting and sailing and on lifeboats.

Many of these books have been scanned; check out the images by clicking on the descriptions below or browse through them through the Sports and Games Image Gallery.

We hope that we'll continue to find interesting books on the subject, and will add them if and when we do.

Let the Regatta begin!

Red dotRowing
Red dotYachting and Canoeing
Red dotLifeboats


Atchison, George T. and Brown, Geoffrey C. The History of the Christ's College Boat Club. Cambridge: W.P. Spalding, 1922. [First edition]. "With a Preface by the President of Queens' College"; illustrated with a dozen photographic plates, and a group of racing charts. Original royal blue cloth, brightly gilt lettered on front and spine, the latter now a touch darkened; small bleaching to cloth at top front corner, spine ends a bit creased. Neat ink ownership inscription on front endpaper; minor foxing, mostly to fore-edge Overall, a near fine copy.

Bradley, U.T. The Dad Vail Story. [Winter Park, Florida]: Printed for the Dad Vail Rowing Association by The Rollins Press, [n.d., 1962?]. [First edition]. With blank pages at end for recording regatta results from 1962-1970. Original
blue textured wrappers, now sunned around edges, and especially along spine; a few leaves and pages edges foxed; contents clean and tight. A very good copy of this history of the Dad Vail regattas, with detailed reports and records of each year's races.

Brittain, Frederick and Playford, Humphrey. The Jesus College Cambridge Boat Club, 1827-1962. Cambridge: W. Heffer & Sons, 1962. [First edition]. Illustrated with photographs of various winning crews; Cambridge Rowing Course endpapers. Original brightly gilt-stamped red cloth; sunned and lightly soiled on spine; a few small lightened spots on front; one corner bumped. Internally excellent. A near fine copy.

Burnell, R.D. The Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race, 1829-1953. London: Geoffrey Cumberlege; Oxford University Press, 1954. [First edition]. Foreword by G.O. Nickalls; illustrated with several photographic plates and course drawings. Original dark green cloth, lettered in gilt on spine; minor chafing to corners and cloth a touch tired. Bookplate; small ink gift inscription on front endpaper. A very good copy.

Drinkwater, G.C. and Sanders, T.B.R. (comp.) The University Boat Race Official Centenary History. London: Cassell & Company, 1929. First edition. "Edited with an introduction by His Honour Judge C. Gurdon (C.U.B.C.)". Illustrated with several photographs and folding plate of the course. Original light moss-green cloth, lettered (spine) and decorated (University Boat Race badge on front) in gilt; covers a touch dusty. Front endpaper creased; light foxing to edges and a few leaves of text; block nice and tight. A near fine copy.

Macfarlane-Grieve, Captain A.A. (ed.) A History of Durham Rowing. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Andrew Reid and Company, 1922. [First edition]. "With a foreword and introductory chapter by Lieut-Col. W.D. Lowe ..."* Illustrated with photographs. Original violet-blue cloth, lettered in gilt; corners, joints and spine ends faintly rubbed; lightly speckled patch on rear. Endpapers toned; edges a bit dusty. A near fine copy.
* "Including also 'Durham School Rowing,' by the Rev. R.H.J. Poole, M.A., and 'The Durham Amateur Rowing Club,' by J.G. Burrell, Esq."

Nickalls, G.O. and Mallam, Dr. P.C. Rowing. London: Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, 1939. [First edition]. Illustrated with instructional photographs. "Pitman's Games and Recreations Series". Publisher's bright blue cloth, lettered and ruled in black; minor hint of fading to spine, with a couple of small lightened patches, corresponding with pieces lacking from dust jacket spine. Contents tight and clean. B/w photopictorial (race before the stands) dust jacket, lettered in red and white; with a few closed tears; small pieces lacking at lower spine, rear joint and top or rear panel, and chips at corners and head of spine; dusty overall. Near fine in very good dust jacket.
There seem to be a number of variants in cloth colour, and length and contents of publisher's ads. All copies seem to contain an integral leaf of ads for other volumes in the Series, some also have an 8 or 40 pp. bound in publisher's catalogue. No priority known.

[----- Another copy]. This one bound in light denim blue, with minor hint of fading to spine; "ding" at top rear board, affecting through to publisher's ads; top edge dusty. Bookseller's rubber stamp ("... New Book Co., Bombay") below imprint on title page; contents tight and clean; 8 pp. additional publisher's ads ("A.1639") at rear*. Photopictorial dust jacket with small chips at lower corners; top edge worn and torn, lacking 3 larger pieces, one affecting "o" of title; dusty. A very good copy.
* There seem to be a number of variants in cloth colour, and length and contents of publisher's ads. All copies seem to contain an integral leaf of ads for other volumes in the Series, some also have an 8 or 40 pp. bound in publisher's catalogue. No priority known.

[----- Another copy]. This one without dust jacket, and with 40 pp. publisher's catalogue. Original purpleish denim blue cloth, lettered and ruled in black, now completely sunned to tan on spine; lettering still nice and sharp; very faint stain at lower front corner. Neat ink ownership inscription on front endpaper; contents excellent; 40 pp. publisher's ads ("January, 1938") at rear*, with discoloured patch at lower edge affecting last few leaves and rear endpaper. 1¼ column Henley Regatta clipping by G.C. Drinkwater, and St. Catharine's College Boat Club Eights/tubs sheet, dated 15/11/39, laid in. Because of the spine, a very good copy.
* There seem to be a number of variants in cloth colour, and length and contents of publisher's ads. All copies seem to contain an integral leaf of ads for other volumes in the Series, some also have an 8 or 40 pp. bound in publisher's catalogue. No priority known.

Sampson, Aylwin. Winning Waters: The Homes of Rowing. London: Robert Hale, 1986. First edition. Nicely illustrated by the author with drawing of river scenes and boat clubs on almost every page. A fine copy in silver-lettered blue boards; in like full-colour pictorial (sketch of the river in Durham) dust jacket.

Treherne, Geo. G.T. and Goldie, J.H.D. Record of the University Boat Race, 1829-1880, and of the Commemoration Dinner, 1881. London: Bickers & Son, 1883. [First edition]. Large paper edition, limited to 250 copies, with pencilled note "No.54 ... initialled by compilers ..." but lacking the limitation page. Elaborately illustrated with steel engravings, and facsimiles of dinner invitation, table plan and menu. Blue-green cloth ruled in brown at top and bottom, lettered in gilt on spine; worn at bumped corners and spine ends, with light loss; light overall soiling, plus tanning on spine. Hinges cracked, but holding, text block a bit loose; some "thumbing"; ink name and date on recto of fly, pencilled note on verso. But for the lacking limitation leaf, a very good copy of this history, with extremely readable year-by-year commentaries on each race.

Young, Charles Van Patten. Courtney and Cornell Rowing. Ithaca, New York: Cornell Publications Printing Co., 1923. [First edition]. Illustrated with photographs of Charles Courtney and other coaches, the Cornell crew and their races, the boathouse, etc. "A Fascinating Story" (cf. dust jacket). A fine copy in maroon and gilt decorated (oar on spine, coach's boat on cover) green cloth; bookplate; contents excellent. Near fine green-on-white pictorial (Coach Courtney) dust jacket, now a touch dusty; with a few minor closed tears and chips at edges.

SquareYachting and CanoeingSquare

Adney, Edwin Tappan and Chapelle, Howard I. The Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America. Washingotn, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1964. [First edition]. "Museum of History and Technology"; United States National Museum Bulletin, #230. Extensively illustrated with photographs, drawings, plans, etc. Original gilt-stamped (Smithsonian logo) light green cloth nice and clean; top edge and leaves in contact with endpapers very lightly foxed; contents excellent. A fine copy of this scholarly work on the construction and history of native, fur-trading, hunting and similar boats; from New England, across lower Canada and into Alaska and the Arctic. Red Cross "Canoe Nomenclature and Details" plan, dated February 1946, laid in; with vertical fold and a touch of age-toning.

Hayward, John D. Canoeing with Sail and Paddle. London: George Bell & Sons, 1893. [First edition]. "The All-England Series"; well illustrated with in-text drawing, diagrams and photographs. Original red cloth, lettered and decorated (sailing canoe) in black; somewhat soiled, spine darkened; rubbing and light wear to corners and spine ends. With several leaves of related and publisher's ads at front and rear; endpapers lightly foxed; contents a bit toned, yet nice and clean. A very good copy, by an officer of the British Canoe Association.

Heckstall-Smith, B. Yacht-Racing: A Text Book on the Sport. London: Field Press, 1923. [First edition]. With many in-text illustrations and one folding plate. Original
dark green cloth, with bright gilt lettering just a touch rubbed on spine; minor rubbing, yet nice and clean; faint mark on fore edge. Tiny ink-stamped name on now tanned front endpaper; small marks to title page and margin of p.14; contents excellent. Near fine.

Count Batthyany 
Vanity Fair [Vanity Fair Prints]. Various caricatures of yachtsmen, updated as available.


Lamb, Sir John Cameron. The Life-Boat and Its Work. London: Printed and Published for Royal National Life-Boat Institution by William Clowes and Sons, 1911. [First edition]. Illustrated with photographs, drawing and other images of lifeboats, boat houses, crews, and leaders in the life-boat movement. Original royal blue cloth, brightly lettered in gilt on front and spine; several shallow "dings" to edges; corners and spine ends rubbed and creased; faint spotting to covers. Ink name on front pastedown; pages a bit thumbed, but text nice and tight; 4 pp. pink paper "Appeal" still in place at rear, with subscriber's form still attached, but small chip lacking from first leaf's fore edge; faint diagonal crease to last leaf. Very good.

Home | Conditions of sale, and orders

To order: E-mail: Wilfrid@deFreitasBooks.com


Phone: (514) 935-9581

Wilfrid M. de Freitas
P.O. Box 232, Westmount Station
Westmount (Montreal), Quebec, Canada H3Z 2T2
Last updated: 4/1/23
Site maintained by Susan Ravdin