“Masterfully captures the life of this little-known sportswoman, a versatile female athlete comparable to Babe Didrikson Zaharias.” —Booklist (starred review)
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. 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.
“Eighty-five years before Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs fought the ‘battle of the sexes,’ a Victorian teenager showed what women could do . . . [Abramsky] celebrates her as a brave and talented and determined original.” —The Atlantic