Test of Time is at once a heartfelt celebration of cricket, a unique personal history and an evocative portrait of a bygone era
John Lazenby's interest in cricket began with a glimpse of his grandfather's old leather cricket bag stored among the rafters. His curiosity piqued, one day he decided to climb up and explore its contents. The faded blazer, heavy ball and linseed-scented bats exerted a subtle influence on him. This re-emerged decades later when he discovered a box of letters written by his grandfather, the England cricketer J. R. Mason, while on a boat to Australia for the 1897-8 Ashes tour.
Inspired by these extraordinary letters, John Lazenby retraces the journey. His tour becomes a cricketing pilgrimage and a voyage of discovery as he passes through Australian cities and remote towns his grandfather visited more than a hundred years ago. During his travels he uncovers a wealth of memorabilia and anecdotes, and his wide-reaching narrative encompasses not only Mason and his team-mates, but also a wider insight into late Victorian mores.
Test of Time will be gold dust to cricket lovers, but it can reach a far wider audience - David Reynolds, author of Swan River
He conveys the strange, but palpable excitement of research he drops in on a close-season Lord s, beautifully evoked as a great ship in dry dock - Times Literary Supplement
'A celebration of cricket, a unique personal history and an evocative portrait of a bygone era' - History Today
'All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable read and highly recommended' - 334NotOut.com
John Lazenby trained on local newspapers in Sussex before joining the Press Association in Fleet Street, where he covered rugby union and cricket. He has worked for national newspapers, including The Times and the Sunday Times, and currently works as a freelance for the Daily Telegraph. He lives in London.