Little Wonder: The Fabulous Story of Lottie Dod, the World's First Female Sports Superstar (Hardcover)

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"A book that brings well deserved attention to Dod...Abramsky has done a masterly job researching Dod's story and calling attention to the achievements of this pioneer who should be recognized by all interested in sports."
--Library Journal

"Abramsky documents in this engrossing page turner the inspiring life of forgotten sports phenomenon Lottie Dod (1871-1960), who blazed a trail for women sports superstars today...This astute history is a must read for sports fans and women's studies' students."
--Publishers Weekly

"In this comprehensive and highly detailed account of Dod's life, freelance journalist Abramsky chronicles her interests and winnings in each of the sports to which she devoted her attention...Even though Dod was a phenom in her day, she was largely forgotten without TV, movies, or social media to carry her name forward. Fortunately for sports fans and students of women's studies, Dod won't be overlooked thanks to Abramsky's thorough biography. The author's historical portrait helps readers appreciate Dod's amazing feats long before Title IX was ever conceived. A welcome resurrection of a true pioneer."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Lottie Dod is one of the world's great unsung sporting heroes. There wasn't a glass ceiling she didn't succeed in breaking, and in Little Wonder, Sasha Abramsky takes readers on an amazing journey across continents and decades as she shattered records and destroyed stereotypes along the way."
--Billie Jean King

"It's so important to remember the past champions, especially the women who tend to be forgotten in the history books."
--Martina Navratilova

Lottie Dod was a truly extraordinary sports figure who blazed trails of glory in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Dod won Wimbledon five times, and did so for the first time in 1887, at the ludicrously young age of fifteen. After she grew bored with competitive tennis, she moved on to and excelled in myriad other sports: she became a leading ice skater and tobogganist, a mountaineer, an endurance bicyclist, a hockey player, a British ladies' golf champion, and an Olympic silver medalist in archery.

In her time, Dod had a huge following, but her years of distinction occurred just before the rise of broadcast media. By the outset of World War I, she was largely a forgotten figure; she died alone and without fanfare in 1960.

Little Wonder brings this remarkable woman's story to life, contextualizing it against a backdrop of rapid social change and tectonic shifts in the status of women in society. Dod was born into a world in which even upper-class women such as herself could not vote, were restricted in owning property, and were assumed to be fragile and delicate.

Women of Lottie Dod's class were expected not to work and to definitely get married. Dod never married and never had children, instead putting heart and soul into training to be the best athlete she could possibly be. Paving the way for the likes of Billie Jean King, Serena Williams, and other top female athletes of today, Dod accepted no limits, no glass ceilings, and always refused to compromise.

About the Author


SASHA ABRAMSKY is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared over the past twenty-five years in major newspapers and magazines in the United States and United Kingdom. These include the Nation, the Atlantic, the New Yorker online, Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, the New York Times, the Guardian, the Independent, the Observer, and the New Statesman. He has written widely about poverty and inequality; hunger; mass incarceration; the treatment of immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers; along with book reviews, cultural essays, and travel writing. Little Wonder is Abramsky's ninth book. He teaches writing part-time at the University of California, Davis, and lives in Sacramento with his wife and two children.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781617758195
ISBN-10: 1617758191
Publisher: Edge of Sports
Publication Date: August 4th, 2020
Pages: 288
Language: English