Little Wonder: The Fabulous Story of Lottie Dod, the World’s First Female Sports Superstar

Edge of Sports. Aug. 2020. 288p. ISBN 9781617758195. $25.95. SPORTS
Lottie Dod (1871–1960) was a sports pioneer, not only winning Wimbledon five times but also excelling in golf (winner of the Women’s British Open), and archery (silver medalist at the 1908 London Olympics), among other sports. Sadly, after her glory years, she became forgotten and died in obscurity in 1960. Journalist Abramsky has written a book that brings well deserved attention to Dod in this biography, which begins with her childhood in Cheshire, England, where she excelled in tennis and was defeating older competitors when she was just 11 years old. Dod also defeated tennis champion William Renshaw. Dod then moved on to other feats, including mountain climbing in Switzerland, along with ice skating and tobogganing, endurance bicycling, golf, archery, and hockey. At age 36, as a result of sciatica, she ended her days of international competition and became a nurse during World War I. During her final years, she led a secluded life and her death was little acknowledged in the newspapers.
VERDICT 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.
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