BU’s Dr Dean Allen has written a bestselling book entitled Empire, War & Cricket in South Africa.
The book, which is published by Penguin Random House South Africa, topped the charts in South Africa with its tales of conflict, cricket and colonial Africa.
Using previously unseen historical documents and photographs it tells the untold story the life and times of James Douglas Logan, a Victorian business tycoon. Logan was responsible for developing the sport of cricket in South Africa at a time the country was on the verge of war with the British Empire.
It explores how he moved from his native Scotland to South Africa and built up a great fortune, even developing a small town into an internationally renowned health-resort and earning himself the title, “Laird of Matjiesfontein”.
Published in April of this year, the book is based on the extensive research Dean undertook as part of his PhD. He is a specialist in South African history and lived and worked in the country for almost 20 years. The publication has earned him spots on national radio shows in the UK and has featured on Simon Mayo's Radio 2 Drive Time show and Talk Sport Radio, where he talked about his passion for cricket and history. He spoke about the book's origins,
“I am passionate about South Africa, its people and its culture, particularly how sport forms such an important part of the fabric of the nation. Empire, War & Cricket in South Africa is a result of a decade of original research and it is has already become a best seller in South Africa."
He went on to say, "We hope to have the same impact here in the UK, as the book describes how the British were responsible for transporting their sport and culture around the world during the heyday of Empire. I feel privileged to have been able to write such a book.”