Literature George MacDonald Fraser Black Ajax

ISBN 13: 9780002255851

Black Ajax

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9780002255851: Black Ajax

Near fine copy in the original gilt-blocked cloth. Slightest suggestion only of dust-dulling to the spine bands and panel edges. Small mark near top of spine cover. Section of original dust jacket tipped-in facing p.1. Remains particularly well-preserved overall; tight, bright, clean and strong. Provenance: From the library of Eric George Hatfield Moody with his bookplate to front pastedown.; 8vo 8" - 9" tall; 248 pages; Physical description: 248 p. ; 24 cm. Summary: In the spirit of Flashman and in the inimitable George MacDonald Fraser style comes a rousing story of prize fighting in the 19th century. "A rip-roaring fictional retelling of the story of black bare-knuckle prizefighter Tom Molineaux, an American freed slave who challenged England's beloved heavyweight champion Tom Cribb in the early years of the 19th century. The same fractious energy that characterizes Fraser's popular Flashman novels courses throughout this wonderfully flavorful tale, which, following a Prologue set in 1818 (Molineaux's last year), presents the testimony of various "witnesses" to the fighter's life and career as elicited by an unnamed "industrious inquirer." --Kirkus Reviews. Subjects: Boxing - History - 19th century - Fiction.

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Product Description:

Based on a true story, this novel tells of Tom Molineux, an American slave who won his freedom in a fight in the American South. He then set his sights on beating the champion of the country where prize fighting originated, the famous Tom Cribb of Bristol.

Review:

In Black Ajax, George MacDonald Fraser tells the story of a black man from the United States who nearly became England's champion boxer during the early 19th century. This historical novel is based on the true story of Tom Molineaux, a former slave who won his freedom in a boxing match, then travelled to England, refined his skills, and almost became the first black champ. The story is told by over a dozen witnesses to Molineaux's bouts with the reigning champion, Tom Cribb. Molineaux's trainer recalls the fighter's awe-inspiring strength and speed. A butler who asks to remain anonymous divulges information about the fighter's love affair with an English noblewoman. Molineaux's manager, a former slave and retired boxer, speaks bitterly of his disappointment in the youth for failing to prove to the English that a black man could be as capable a fighter as any white man. Nearly all the witnesses to the first match between the two fighters thought Molineaux lost mainly because the judges gave the white opponent an unfair advantage.

All the characters in this novel speak in 19th-century dialect, and it's diverting to try to decipher their many odd turns of phrase. For those who cannot determine the meanings of words such as "Spike Hotel", "toco", "winker", and "wistycastor" from context, the author provides a glossary at the end of the book. Unfortunately, almost all of the characters seem overly fond of using racial epithets, which draws attention to the shortcomings of this book. The main one is that Tom Molineaux, who undoubtedly was a complex, fascinating character, comes across as a stereotype here: a hulk with not many brains but a lot of sex drive. Although Fraser fails in that respect, this novel does vividly chronicle an intriguing episode in the history of sport and race relations. --Jill Marquis

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George MacDonald Fraser
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ISBN 10: 0002255855 ISBN 13: 9780002255851
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Book Description HarperCollins. Paperback. Book Condition: New. UNUSED, VERY GOOD, NOT EX-LIBRARY, Uncorrected book proof, 256 pages. When Tom Molineaux, a freed black slave, leaves America in 1810 for England he is determined to become a champion prize-fighter. His superb physique and lightning fists quickly see him taken up by the Fancy - the community of swells, gamblers, rakes and pugilists who follow the fight game, and in particular Captain Buckley "Mad Buck" Flashman. Like his son, the arch-cad Harry Flashman, the Captain always has an eye to the main chance, and in a world in which half a million guineas can be wagered on a single fight, he sees significant advantage in becoming patron to the noble but innocent Molineaux.As Tom, or the Black Ajax as he is dubbed, is slowly shaped into the wonder of the Fancy, he is introduced to Society, and is soon the toast of the town, even shaking the hand of the Prince Regent himself. A national figure, Tom is carried on a popular swell of fight fever towards his great ambition: to fight the invincible, undefeated champion of England, Tom Cribb. Enthralling, moving and absolutely captivating, Black Ajax is a fine portrait of a man who brought the prize ring a fame and lustre it had never known before, and may never again. Bookseller Inventory # 9430

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George MacDonald Fraser
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ISBN 10: 0002255855 ISBN 13: 9780002255851
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Book Description HarperCollins. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0002255855

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George MacDonal Fraser
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Book Description Harpercollins Publishers, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. First Edition. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0002255855

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