Tennis: History & Mysteries, The Queen’s Club, 2012

The inaugural Conference on the history of tennis took place on 24 & 26 April, 2012 at The Queen’s Club – held on the occasion of the men’s World Championship 24-28 April, 2012

A LINK to download a pdf of the Conference programme will be available in due course. 

For regular updates on the History of Real Tennis on Facebook, please join our Conference Facebook group called: “Tennis: History & Mysteries”.

Tennis: History & Mysteries

An International Conference on the History of Real Tennis

Tuesday 24 & Thursday 26 April 2012

10am – 1pm

The Centenary Committee Room,The Queen’s Club

Palliser Road W14 9EQ

An International Conference on the History of Real Tennis held on the occasion of the 2012 Men’s World Championship at The Queen’s Club.


Speakers & Papers by:

Thierry Bernard-Tambour, France

David Best, UK

Cees de Bondt, Holland

Heiner Gillmeister, Germany

Roman Krznaric, UK

Paul Mirat, France

John Shneerson, UK

Richard Travers, Australia

Charles Wade, UK

& Papers prepared by:

Allan Willingham, Australia

James Zug, USA


10am – 1pm Tuesday & Thursday

Location: The Centenary Committee Room, T&RA Building,

The Queen’s Club

W14 9EQ

We are extremely grateful for the support of The Queen’s Club &

The 2012 World Championship Committee for providing the use of the Centenary Committee Room and the Teas.

RECEPTION & Book Signing:

Wednesday 25 April 2012 5:30-7:30pm

Heywood Hill Bookstore

10 Curzon Street


Wine kindly provided by Domaine Drouhin & Pol Roger UK


Bernard Anscomb, Simon Mansfield & David Thomas, 2012 World Championship Committee; Attila Kerekes, the Queen’s Club; Derek Williams (Mayfield Press); James Simpson (Pol Roger UK); Rachel Heslop (Heywood Hill);

Bryan Lewis (Media on Demand); Paul Brown ( &

Kathryn McNicoll (Ronaldson Publications).

Tennis: History & Mysteries

An International Conference on the History of Real Tennis



First Session             10:00-11:10

10:00      Introduction (Frederika Adam)

1.             Paul Mirat (France)

“The Revival of Some Tennis Courts in South West France”

2.             Thierry Bernard Tambour (France) 

“The Paumiers du Roi in 17th and 18th Century France”

11:00-11:10            Discussion & Questions (Kathryn McNicoll)

11:10                        Tea

Second Session             11:30-1pm

11:30      Introduction (Frederika Adam) 

3.             David Best (UK)

                “The Famous James Street Court”

4.             Allan Willingham (Australia) (read by Richard Travers)

“The Enigmatic Mr. Lukin, Secretary of the James Street Tennis Club, and the Import of his Treatise on Tennis”

 5.             Charles Wade (UK)

                        “The Real Tennis Handicapping System – how it began”

12:40-1pm                        Discussion & Questions (Kathryn McNicoll)


WEDNESDAY 25 APRIL 2012            5:30-7:30pm

 Conference Reception & Book Signing was hosted by Rachel Heslop & Domaine Drouhin, Burgundy. Heywood Hill Book Shop, 10 Curzon Street, Mayfair.  The Reception was followed by a Dinner for Speakers and Guests at the Chelsea Arts Club. 


Third Session            10:00-11:30

10:00     Introduction (Frederika Adam)

6.             Heiner Gillmeister (Germany)

“Tennis Continental”

7.             John Shneerson (UK)

 “The Social and Economic Conditions behind the Rise and Fall in Popularity of Tennis in 19th century England”

8.             Richard Travers (Australia) 

“Real Tennis in Lyon”

11:20-11:30                        Discussion & Questions (Kathryn McNicoll)

11:30-11:45                        Tea


Fourth Session             11:45-1pm

11:45        Introduction (Frederika Adam)

10.             Roman Krznaric (UK)

“The Democratic Revolution in the History of Tennis”

9.             Cees de Bondt (Holland) 

“Caravaggio’s Infamous Tennis Match: An Inquiry into a Caravaggesque Painting” 

12:40-1pm                        Discussion & Questions (Kathryn McNicoll)

End of Conference