The Beast, the Emperor and the Milkman
Cycling is wildly popular all over Belgium, but in the northern, Dutch-speaking half of the country it is part of the psyche. Flanders is the size of East Anglia with population a tenth of that of Great Britain, yet this small corner of north-west Europe has produced eight winners of the Tour de France, five times as many professional riders as Italy or Spain. Blending reportage, interviews, observation, biography and history and written with affectionate humour by a committed Belgophile, ‘The Beast, the Emperor and the Milkman’ tells the story of Flanders’ neurotic love affair with bike racing, from tough early heroes such as Jules Vanhevel – wounded by mortar fire in the First World War and leading the world championship road race until he collided with a cow – to latter-day ironmen such as Tom Boonen, three-times winner of the Tour of Flanders and owner of a pet donkey named Kamiel.
***SHORTLISTED FOR THE TELEGRAPH SPORTS BOOK AWARDS 2020 - CYCLING BOOK OF THE YEAR******LONGLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2019***'A joy.' - Ned BoultingEvery nation shapes sport to test the character traits it most admires.In The Beast, the Emperor and the Milkman, committed Belgophile and road cycling obsessive Harry Pearson takes you on a journey across Flanders, through the lumpy horizontal rain, up the elbow juddering cobbled inclines, past the fans dressed as chickens and the shop window displays of constipation medicines, as he follows races big, small and even smaller through one glorious, muddy spring.Ranging over 500 years of Flemish and European history, across windswept polders, along back roads and through an awful lot of beer cafes, Pearson examines the characters, the myths and rivalries that make Flanders a place where cycling is a religion and the riders its lycra-clad priests.
|Dimensions||198 × 129 × 19 mm|
ix, 262 , 16 unnumbered of plates
General – Trade / Code: K
You may also like…
Jane Austen’s England£9.99
Jane Austen’s England
It is impossible to fully appreciate Jane Austen without experiencing the landscapes which inspired her. Jane Austen’s England – the first book of its kind – takes the reader on a series of walking tours into the very heart of her world. These fifteen picturesque walks describe the country houses, churches, great estates, and elegant cities that were the settings for her novels and introduce the reader to the real-life people she met, many of whom became characters in her books. This is an indispensable guide for all Austen fans, some of the sights include Godmersham House, the inspiration for Pemberley in Pride and Prejudice, the view from Box Hill, scene of the ‘exploring party’ in Emma, Lyme Regis’ treacherous Cobb in Persuasion, Bath’s Assemmbly Rooms in Northanger Abbey, and many more.£9.99
Walking the Great North Line£20.00
Walking the Great North Line
Lay out a map of Britain and something odd becomes apparent: at 1 degree 50 minutes west there is a dead straight line going true north from Stonehenge to Lindisfarne. Two of Britain’s most-ancient and most-revered sites. But there is more. Starting in the south, the line goes dead north from Castle Ditches to old Sarum, through Stonehenge, Knap Hill, and Avebury stone circles, past ancient places in Cricklade, Bibury, Notgrove, and Wootton Wawen. It goes through Long Low, Thor’s Cave, Mam Tor, nearby Twelve Apostles stone circle, Ilkley Roman site, The Badger stone, ancient sites in Lanchester, Eochester, Millstone Burn, Bewick Hill and all the way to finish plum on Lindisfarne Island – one of the most ancient of early Christian sites and still a retreat and monastery. Robert Twigger has travelled this ancient line on foot, like a biologist walking a transect.£20.00