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News > General News > Vincent's Book by Professor Simon Lee

Vincent's Book by Professor Simon Lee

You can order Vincent's book via (price £15), or pick up a free copy if you are ever in Oxford and would like to drop in.
6 Jun 2023
General News

For those Members who haven’t already been enthralled by the “richly entertaining account of superhuman sporting feats, wild eccentricities, fascinating anecdotes and connections as well as humbling accounts of indomitable courage and endurance”, we urge you to get in touch and order your copy of Simon Lee’s Vincent’s, 1863-2013.

You can order via (price £15), or pick up a free copy if you are ever in Oxford and would like to drop in.

Now in our 160th year and with the past ten years welcoming female Members to the Club, an addendum is being made later this year to this first edition, highlighting the major contribution women have made to Vincent’s Club over the past decade.


"Vincent's Club was founded in 1863 above Vincent's the printers at 90 The High by the notably unconventional undergraduate oarsman Walter Bradford Woodgate of Brasenose College. Woodgate's vision was to bring together Oxford's leading one hundred sportsmen and, particularly, all-round characters, his 'originals', reflecting the founder's own lively disregard for convention. Vincent's, in Woodgate's own phrase, 'at once acquired a special prestige, which has never left it'.
At its centenary in 1963, Vincent's members included the Prime Minister of the day, Harold Macmillan, his successor later that year, Alec Douglas-Home, and sportsmen such as the Olympian gold-medal winner and King of Norway, Olav V. In Vincent's: 1863 - 2013, Simon Lee has assembled a richly entertaining account of superhuman sporting feats, wild eccentricities, fascinating anecdotes and connections, as well as accounts of indomitable courage and endurance by and about Vincent's individuals. He identifies two great eras in the early history - that of the Pioneers (1863-1913), leading participants in the explosion of codified British sports in the mid-19th century, and that of the Heroes of two world wars and a hatful of Olympic medals (1913-63). At the same time, he shows convincingly that in the last five decades Vincent's members have continued to distinguish themselves well beyond their University careers at the highest level, whether in sport, the armed services, diplomacy, business, academia or politics - such as the new Prime Minister of Australia, elected in the Club's 150th year, as well as an earlier Australian Prime Minister who led the current Opposition party to four federal election successes in 1983, 1984, 1987 and 1990.
With a cast composed of Prime Ministers, Presidents, ambassadors, Vice-Chancellors, international sporting champions, at least one Head of a Secret Service, CEOs and entrepreneurs, and not forgetting a walk-on part by the Beatles, this is a book which enshrines the ethos and spirit of the Club as it was, as it is, and as it will continue to be."

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