In 1998, Andrew Lycett published a book called From Diamond Sculls to Golden Handcuffs: A History of Rowe & Pitman. Some years ago, when I saw the book on the web site of an antiquarian bookseller, I found the title thrilling. I ordered it (it cost a few pounds), and I still remember how utterly disappointed I was after reading the first two, three chapters. The title is terribly inaccurate as the only ‘rowing’ mentioned is 8 lines for George Rowe’s and Fred Pitman’s collected rowing achievements, 3 lines for ‘Moppy’ Pilkinton, and 3 lines for Hugo Pitman. There is nothing about Henley, despite the ‘Diamond Sculls’ in the title.
Not even when the creator of the James Bond books, Ian Fleming, shows up in the book as an associate in the Rowe & Pitman firm, did that hold my interest. This [‘rowing’] book is awfully, horribly boring!