‘A Yank at Cambridge – B.H. Howell: The Forgotten Champion’ by Göran Buckhorn

“A Yank at Cambridge – B.H. Howell: The Forgotten Champion” is the story about Benjamin Hunting Howell of New York, who arrived at Trinity Hall, Cambridge University, England, in the autumn of 1894 to study. Howell had not previously rowed in America, but he soon found himself out boating on the River Cam. The following summer, the young American was in the Trinity Hall Boat Club crew that took the Grand Challenge Cup for eights, the most prestigious event at Henley Royal Regatta. In the autumn of 1896, Howell tried a new river adventure: sculling, and in this discipline he would excel to the fullest, taking the two finest amateur titles in the world at this time: the Diamond Challenge Sculls at Henley in 1898 and 1899, and these years also the Wingfield Sculls, the Amateur Sculling Championship of the Thames and Great Britain. This biography not only presents Howell, it also depicts many of his contemporary oarsmen: ‘Old Blues’ from Oxford and Cambridge, legendary rowing coaches and rowing writers.- – – ‘It’s a fascinating book full of history.’ Clive Radley, author of The Radleys of the Lea; ‘Buckhorn’s A Yank at Cambridge was inspired by the late Hart Perry of the National Rowing Foundation [and] tells the story of Howell’s episodic, plucky rowing life meticulously – a sporting life which ended with Howell’s return to the U.S. It is copiously illustrated from the photo album and elsewhere, and resonates with both social realism of the 1890s and arguments exercising rowers and their blazerati.’ ~ Chris Dodd, rowing historian, author of Pieces of Eight, Bonnie Brave Boat Rowers and Unto the Tideway Born; ‘So bravo for bringing this story to light, and for telling the tale of an interesting gentleman, a fascinating time in history, and adding to the lure of the world of rowing.’ ~ Julia Brandi, relative of Hunting Howell; ‘A Yank at Cambridge […] is superb. […] I expected to find only the story about B. H. Howell, however, I found the book full of other historical bits and facts: the early years of Cambridge and Oxford rowing, the establishment of the Henley Regatta with details of the American competitors and many images to round out the reader’s experience. I’m very impressed with the depth of [the] research.’ ~ Bill Miller, rowing historian; ‘A Yank at Cambridge reveals with spirit and humor the Brooklyn lad who triumphed among Britain’s finest oarsmen. With a graceful style and a stunning array of engaging pictures, Göran Buckhorn’s biography of Hunting Howell reveals a “forgotten champion” who earned rowing’s highest honors yet enjoyed little acclaim in his homeland. This book also reveals in telling detail the sports and social strata of Victorian England, which Howell conquered with equal gusto.’ ~ William Lanouette, rowing historian; ‘Göran Buckhorn […] has written an entertaining biography of Howell. […] Buckhorn’s story resonates with the social realism of the 1890s.’ ~ Chris Dodd in Rowing & Regatta, January/February 2016;

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