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A book of boxing by one of the nineteenth-century stars, celebrating the 175th anniversary of The London LibraryBe manly; seek no undue advantage. Science and pluck give advantage enoughThe "e;fistic art"e; was a popular sport in ancient times, and was first included in the Olympic Games in 688 BC. But it was in eighteenth-century London that boxing started to really make its mark, and bare-knuckle prizefights earned money and glory for countless hardy young men.But as the decades wore on, society's view of the sport changed. No longer was it acceptable to kick and gouge, nor to fall on a foe after throwing him to the ground, and in 1867 the Queensbury Rules were published. Gloves were introduced, and hitting opponents while they were down, wrestling, biting and low blows were considered fouls. And so, as Ned Donnelly says in 1879: "e;The Prize Ring is now extinct"e;. But the art of pugilism-whether with gloves or without-was still a noble one, and the rules that governed it, laid out with illustrations in Donnelly's handy manual, were as rich and intricate as ever. The Noble English Art of Self-Defence is part of "e;Found on the Shelves"e;, published with The London Library. The books in this series have been chosen to give a fascinating insight into the treasures that can be found while browsing in The London Library. Now celebrating its 175th anniversary, with over seventeen miles of shelving and more than a million books, The London Library has become an unrivalled archive of the modes, manners and thoughts of each generation which has helped to form it.Vis mere
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