Reader, have you ever seen a fight?
December 10, 2011 5:16 AM   Subscribe

On 10 December 1821 the radical essayist and journalist William Hazlitt set out on a journey from London to Hungerford where, the next day, he witnessed a bare-knuckle boxing match between Bill Neate, a butcher from Bristol, and Tom 'The Gas-man' Hickman. Hazlitt's account of the event ā€“ 'The Fight' ā€“ was published in 1822, and is regarded as a pioneering work of sports journalism and an insightful study of popular culture.
posted by mattn (6 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
I can't quite explain this -- I'm not a huge fan of boxing, I am a huge fan of writing about boxing. So I'm really looking forward to spending some time with this post. Thanks, mattn!
posted by .kobayashi. at 5:33 AM on December 10, 2011

Mentioned my love of this essay here before - thanks for the added background mattn.
posted by Abiezer at 6:28 AM on December 10, 2011


But for its length, I wouldst have feasted my eyes upon this storied missive...
posted by sfts2 at 7:25 AM on December 10, 2011

posted by Etrigan at 8:03 AM on December 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

This essay was in my college anthology of English lit. (not Norton or Oxford).

I still have a memory-- who knows how reliable-- of something reported to have been said to the loser when he woke up: "You lost, _______, but you are the bravest man alive" (not to spoil it for you folks).
posted by jamjam at 9:32 AM on December 10, 2011

This was a really great read. I have mixed feelings about boxing, but this highlighted all of the great elements of spectator sport, and I hung on every word.
posted by swingbraid at 12:04 PM on December 10, 2011

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