Today Bill Richmond is largely unknown to the wider public, but he was one of the most significant sportsmen in history and one of the most prominent celebrities of Georgian times. Born into slavery in Staten Island, Richmond won his freedom as a young boy and carved a new life for himself in England as a cabinet maker and then a renowned prizefighter and trainer. His amazToday Bill Richmond is largely unknown to the wider public, but he was one of the most significant sportsmen in history and one of the most prominent celebrities of Georgian times. Born into slavery in Staten Island, Richmond won his freedom as a young boy and carved a new life for himself in England as a cabinet maker and then a renowned prizefighter and trainer. His amazing life encompassed encounters and relationships with some of the most prominent men of the age, including Earl Percy, William Hazlitt, Lord Byron, the Prince Regent and Lord Camelford. His fame was such that he fulfilled an official role at the coronation celebrations of King George IV in 1821. The story of Bill Richmond is an incredible tale of personal advancement, as well as the story of a life informed and influenced by a series of turbulent historical events, including the American War of Independence, the fight for black emancipation and Britain's long-running conflict with Napoleon Bonaparte....
|Title||:||richmond unchained the biography of the world s first black sporting superstar|
|Format Type||:||Kindle Edition|
|Number of Pages||:||232 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
richmond unchained the biography of the world s first black sporting superstar Reviews
An absolutely cracking history of the black boxer Bill Richmond: former slave, cabinet maker, Georgian/Regency sporting superstar, and all round extremely impressive and decent bloke. This is a magnificent life story that deserves telling, but also hugely interesting about the sport of bare knuckle fighting and with really solid grounding in the politics and social setting, especially in looking at the racism with which Richmond and his protege Molineux had to contend. Extremely readable, fascinating stuff. I hugely recommend this to anyone with an interest in the Regency, whether you like boxing or not: it's about a great deal more than sport. An excellent book. (Also, it has fabulous illustrations in graphic novel style, and now I really want to know why I can't have those in all my books because they were great.)
This is a solid biography of a fascinating man. Bill Richmond was born in the 18th century and lived as a slave in a Staten Island parsonage (when New York had the second-highest population of slaves, after Charleston, South Carolina). As a rift developed between the colonies and Britain, Mr. Richmond cast his lot with the loyalists and became an Englishman. While in England, he worked as a cabinet-maker and became a pugilist, eventually ascending to the heights of Fistiana and forcing the public (most of it, anyway) to reassess their prejudices against the "sable-skinned" race of which Richmond was a proud member.The author does a good job of pouring through mountains of archives, yellowing newspapers, and contemporary firsthand accounts, to debunk the myths surrounding the black boxer, his famed rivalry with Bristolian banger Tom Cribb, as well as his management of other boxers and the establishment of his own public house, the famed Horse and Dolphin. Luke Williams is also to be commended for fleshing out the history and atmosphere of colonial America and Georgian England, while not neglecting the technical aspects of the style of fighting Bill Richmond developed. This makes the book enjoyable reading for both general history buffs and boxing heads (and I'd hazard there's some overlap between those two camps, unless I'm the only history-buff-cum-boxing-buff out there). The way the author tells it, it would appear that Richmond was a pioneer in a style of boxing referred to in his time as "milling on the retreat," or what we in the modern world call "boxing off the backfoot," an intelligent and somewhat defensive-oriented style associated with the likes of Pernell "Sweet Pea" Whitaker and Muhammad "the Greatest" Ali.The book sags a bit in the middle, as Williams spends a bit too much time getting bogged down in the triumphs and travails of Richmond's prodigy Tom Molineaux, and (regardless of the author's age), he shows a Baby Boomer-esque tendency toward a hectoring and self-righteous tone on the subject of race. At one point, he falters badly in trying to create some sort of lineage in the civil rights struggle that links Bill Richmond and Barack Obama as kindred spirits (there's a bit of daylight between an ex-slave who fought bare-knuckle in the 18th and 19th century and a guy slavishly feted over by the elite, who went to the best prep schools and had his primrose path garlanded from birth to his political ascendancy), but this is more of a quibble than a game-killer. The book features a handful of black and white drawings, which liven things up, and there is also a fighting record for Bill Richmond as an appendix. Miraculously, Richmond seemed to have waged a very spirited campaign against Father Time, fighting on so long that he remained game and competitive longer than the record-setters of our own gloved era, like "Big" George Foreman and Bernard "the Executioner" Hopkins. Recommended.
A fascinating figure and story, well drawn by Williams. Well researched and offering a glimpse into a little known history. If you like boxing or sport, a must read.
I read this book after a recommendation by Stephen Jarvis and I didn't regret reading it, no, to be honest I devoured it. It's a fascinating combination of bio novel and historical background (role of the blacks in English and American society, abolition of slavery, war of independence, European history and Georgian England). Bill Richmond is described in all his facets as a boxer, tutor, business man, person and friend. Also his family and ancestry are thoroughly presented and introduced to the reader. Luke the author did research on an awful mountain of material and presents it in fluent prose, witty, written to the point, like a goox pugilist at work. Chapter for chapter you come to know many facts about tough bare knuckle boxing at the era, you see the enthusiasm for this sport rise and fall coinciding with Bill Richmond falling into poverty and death. Besides you meet all the important pugilists of the time like Tom Cribb, the Belcher brothers, Tom "Paddington" Jones or Molinaux. Also liked the fine modern comic like illustrations in this book and its great title reminding me on "Django Unchained" that famous Tarantiono movie. This books stand out among many others and is the most fascinating book on boxing I've read so far. It's an ideal companion to "Death and Mr Pickwick" where also some pugilists are mentioned. In Richmond Unchained the pugilists play the starring role not Dickens. Clear recommendation from round one on, hard hitting compelling must read. Get into your reading fight now!
I like books which have a sense of "importance" to them - I like to feel that I am reading about something that truly matters - and that certainly applies in the case of Richmond Unchained. This book should be made into a movie.The book is subtitled "The Biography of the World's First Black Sporting Superstar", and it tells the story of Bill Richmond, an American slave, who rose to great prominence as a boxer in Georgian England. The tremendous sense of importance which I feel about this book truly came home in the section dealing with the famous Molineaux-Cribb fight when Tom Molineaux, a black American, was matched against Tom Cribb, the English Champion. Bill Richmond was ringside, as Molineaux's trainer/manager. The fight has a good claim to be considered the first international sporting event of significance, long before there were international matches in football, rugby and cricket. That in itself would make the fight important - but added to that, there is the whole matter of race in England, which runs alongside this fight, and is a recurring issue in the book as a whole.Luke is an excellent writer and researcher, and I strongly recommend this book. There are wonderful illustrations too, drawn by a modern artist, Trevor Von Eeden, which have the feel of pictures from a superhero comic.
Interesting account of early boxing that also provides an insight into the World of late Georgian England. Bill Richmond life story is well documented while historically dubious but entertaining anecdotes are included with full scepticism of their veracity acknowledged. I was vaguely aware of the central set piece (I.e. The Cribb/Richmond/Molineaux rivalry) but here it is examined as forensically as possible with the materials available. The story offers fascinating insights about the origins of sport itself and quite moving instances of camaraderie in what I'd previously dismissed as a uniformly bigoted period in history. The author tends to lionise Richmond a little more than I think he deserves but he's still clearly a groundbreaking figure and the authors passion for the subject is apparent. A good read for fans of both history & sport.