There are few more instantly recognizable figures from any era or walk of life than W. G. Grace. With his enormous height, beer-barrel girth, and immense beard he was--and remains--a caricaturist's dream. Arguably the finest and most influential cricketer who ever lived and one of the first true celebrities, Grace became a persona rather than a person, racking up unprecedented amounts of runs and wickets, while slowly vanishing behind an increasing swirl of myth and apocrypha.
In the year that marks the centenary of Grace's death, Charlie Connelly charts the final years of Grace's life--from his fiftieth birthday celebrations in 1898 to his death at the age of sixty-seven in 1915--through the eyes of Grace himself. In an unusual take on this most eminent Victorian and extraordinary pioneering sportsman, Connelly draws on contemporary documents and accounts to imagine Grace's progress through his final years.
Combining facts and imagination, Gilbert is an affectionate and beautifully written account of the Champion's later life that comes closer than ever before to giving a sense of the real W. G. Grace behind the mythology--the perennially childlike soul saddled with the weight of genius.
To the public, he was The Doctor, The Champion, and W. G., but to those who knew him best, he was simply Gilbert. This is a book about Gilbert.