Nimrod [Charles James Apperley]
Remarks on the Condition of Hunters, the Choice of Horses, and Their Management: In a Series of Familiar Letters, originally Published in The Sporting Magazine between 1822 and 1828.
Seller ID: 1437
London: M. A. Pittman, 1831. First edition thus (pp. 503, index). Octavo (24 cm) in modern dark green leatherette, printed paper title, complimentary endpapers. A collection of Apperley's articles which when originally published served to establish him as the most trusted commentator on equine sports. Norman Gash in the ODNB explains: "From his boyhood his ruling passions had been hunting, horse-riding, and horse management. He had acted as amateur driver for the Holyhead mail and other coach lines in north Wales, and had made money by buying and selling horses. He had also occasionally entered horses at race meetings, riding them himself.... Apperley's expert knowledge and social status made him an invaluable recruit to the sporting press of the time, and he may even be said to have created the role of gentleman hunting correspondent. Writing at first under various pseudonyms..., he published his first article for the Sporting Magazine as Nimrod in January 1822 and he subsequently usually used that nom de plume. For five seasons, from 1824 to 1828, he was the magazine's official representative, with a contract that gave him �1500 p.a., a remarkably high salary designed to cover his travelling expenses and the upkeep of a string of hunters. ...He travelled all over the kingdom, reporting many sporting events besides fox-hunting, and frequently driving the coaches on which he was passenger. This was the zenith of Apperley's career, with the fame of his articles, backed by his personal skill, authority, and charm, establishing him as one of the arbiters of the hunting world." It is not clear that Apperley was himself a gentlemen however much his journalism argued for it. It was only after his wife (upon whose family's money he depended) had left him, taking their six children with her, that he turned to writing about what he truly loved. He had, until then, found fitful employment as a junior officer in one or another militia regiment and dragged his family from one rented house to another, moving when the landlord's patience expired. His financial affairs were marked by over-draughts, unpaid loans, and bankruptcy. You can almost hear the comments from his peers, "By God, sir, that man can sit a horse! Just be sure never to lend him money." A neat modern binding and a clean, tight text block make for a nearly fine copy.
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