picture on front cover/dust jacket
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Title Our Game and Omar Khay-yam for Bowlers
Author John May
Publisher Royal Victorian Bowling Association, Melbourne, Australia
First published 1937
ISBN Pre-ISBN system
Edition reviewed 2nd (published 1947)
Hardback/softback Hardback
List price 10s 0d (Australian)
Cover size (cm)
(height x width)
18.7 x 12.2
Number of pages 254
Number of pages with Coloured photos Black & white photos Line drawings
  None 1 None
Synopsis John May MA, known as 'The Unknown Bowler', was passionate about bowls, a skilful wordsmith and fluent poet - all of which is reflected in this publication. His prosaic style is evident from these opening paragraphs of the Preface:

It is now 34 years since I had the good fortune to be attracted to the Game of Bowls. No very long time elapsed before I began to realise how much better my fortune had been had I been attracted earlier.

For many years I had regarded the Game with an amused but ignorant contempt. In return it has heaped coals of fire on my ill-deserving head. It pitied my ignorance and took me to its heart.

Much happiness has thus come to me, though I have won no great fame as a Bowler. But little have I recked, since other aims I early learned to prize.

The book itself comprises: 49 short chapters that record his experiences as a bowler, usually with a philosophical interpretation and most containing a short poem or two; a 12-part chapter headed 'The Principles of Bowling' which includes practical aspects such as delivery, green and strength, various shots, etc; and the final chapter, 'Omar Khay-yam' for Bowlers'. The latter, based on the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, is a 75-verse poem that combines John May's affection for the Rubaiyat with his passion for bowls.


From the Foreword of Our Game and Omar Khay-yam for Bowlers it seems that the first edition, published ten years earlier, consists largely of songs that appeared previously in Bowls - a magazine believed to be primarily concerned with the state of Victoria - and that the title is Our Game.