A Bright Sunset – Or, Recollections of the Last Days of a Young Scottish Football Player. With introductory Note by J.H.Wilson.
First Edition. London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1884. Small Octavo. Pagination: Original portrait photograph of William Easton Riddell as Frontispiece, VI, (2), 142 pages with two wood-engravings (″Toward Point” and “Up the Kyles in the Ariel”). Original, beautifully illustrated Hardcover with a football-scene on the front board, gilt lettering and floral elements. Excellent condition with only minor signs of external wear. The rare first edition with the original photograph of William Easton Riddell. Private giftinscription on the front free endpaper.
William Easton Riddell was a boy who lived in Scotland over 130 years ago. In 1882, he was 16 years old and playing soccer, when he hurt his leg. His parents took him to see doctors, but the leg would not heal. The parents were told William had cancer. They did not tell William that until towards the end. William knew he was terminal, and he did not become bitter, and did his best to keep his loved one’s from feeling sorrow regarding his eventual death.
What seems naive, now in the 21st century, and hear it often with warrior culture, such as the samurai, or Spartans is the concept of looking forward to death and dying well. But this concept is exemplified with William. His mother wrote an account of these last months of his life. I’m pretty sure I do not have the same strength as this young man did to face what he faced with the attitude he faced it with. His story is chronicled in a book, published in 1886, titled, “A Bright Sunset: The Last Days of a Young Scottish Football Player.” I found the book to be touching and a tear-jerker. (Source: Steven Fujita)