Neville Cardus

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Sir Neville Cardus (2 April 188928 February 1975) was a celebrated British journalist. He was a music and cricket writer for the Manchester Guardian.


On cricket[edit]

  • For the game is everlasting only insofar as we keep returning to it for delights put into it by countless boys of all ages.
    • Cricket (1930)
  • Dear, lovely game of cricket that can stir us so profoundly, that can lift up our hearts and break them.
    • Good Days (1934)
  • Often in this our life do we begin by cursing men and end by loving them. A sense of the common fallibility of all flesh makes us kin. No man is lovable who is invincible.
    • Good Days (1934)

On music[edit]

  • If a German or an Austrian, a Greek or a Bashibazouk, had composed Gerontius, the whole world would have by now admitted its qualities.
    • Manchester Guardian (1939)
  • Even an ordinary broken chord is made to disclose rare beauties; we are reminded of the fairies' hazelnuts in which diamonds were concealed but you could break the shell only if your hands were blessed.
  • A great composition to me is ... an incarnation of a genius, of all that was ever in him of the slightest consequence.
    • Preface to Ten Composers, August 1944.
  • Sibelius justified the austerity of his old age by saying that while other composers were engaged in manufacturing cocktails, he offered the public pure cold water.
    • Manchester Guardian (1958)
  • It is the only one in existence that might conceivably have been composed by God.
    • Of Mozart's "The Magic Flute"; Manchester Guardian (1961)

Quotes about Cardus[edit]

  • He has made a contribution to cricket which no one can ever duplicate. It may be true that cricket was always an art, but no one until Neville Cardus presented it as an art with all an artist's perception.
  • His books are full of humour: rich comedy, sometimes almost slapstick, and yet he keeps us hovering between tears and laughter. For always he is conscious, and makes us conscious, of the fragility of happiness, of the passing of time. He loved the good moments all the more avidly because he knew they were fleeting.
  • His descriptions of cricket gave it a pulse but, more significantly, chimed with the post-war mood for something romantic, something dreamy, something purely for fun. He spoke to a generation which already felt old, and his tender approach to cricket, as well as his empathy for it, gave whoever read him a feeling for matches they'd never seen, players they barely knew and even places – backwater towns and major cities alike – they couldn't visit.
    • Duncan Hamilton, The Great Romantic (2019), p. xix, on Cardus's cricket journalism in the 1920s.

External links[edit]

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