Aberdeen: Printed by D. Chalmers and Co. for A. Brown and F. Frost ... [et al.], 1813. First Edition. 8vo. viii, 9-286 pp. Coper engraved frontispiece. Bound by Hatchards of London in red crushed leather with gilt ruling & lettering; TEG; marbled endpapers. Engraved bookplate of James Duff (1814-1879), 5th Earl of Fife; Duff was created Baron Skene, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, in 1857, allowing him to vote in the House of Lords. A fine copy. Item #18443
The first and only edition. "... an extraordinary survey of records of matches and athletes, and the application of enlightenment thinking to the documentation of sport. Thom’s intention was to celebrate the achievements of Captain Barclay, but in order to give Barclay’s achievements greater meaning he discussed the athlete’s predecessors with a diligence that provides a model for today’s sports statisticians. He categorised records according to the timescale of the race: 1) matches lasting several days, 2) matches lasting one day, 3) matches completed in an hour or more, requiring stamina, and 4) matches completed in seconds or minutes, requiring sprinting skills... The publication of 'Pedestrianism' marked a new kind of public ownership of the body of the athlete. " - British Library. Captain Robert Barclay, known as the Great Pedestrian, gained public notice for walking 1000 miles in 1000 successive hours (on Newmarket Heath), a feat that made him a rich man.