There has been a tendency in the last few years on the part of authors to see the romantic side of the prize-ring. Their heroes have been heroes because they have been pugilists, not, as was the case with older writers, pugilists because they were heroes. In other words, they did not confine their knock-down blows to the villain in the big scene, but made them their profession. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was really the first to show the glamour of the ring, though Mr. Bernard Shaw had been before him with “Cashel Byron’s Profession.” But Mr. Shaw treated his hero in too cynical a fashion to allow him to become as generally popular as the heroes in “Rodney Stone.” The pugilist in fiction has recently been brought up to date. Mr. Jack London’s “The Game" treats of a fighter who comes straight from the America of to-day. He is a little more angelic than the fighters with whom we are personally acquainted, but that, we suppose, is necessary for the purposes of the book. The most lifelike pugilist with whom we have come in contact in book or play was “Kid Garvey,” in Mr. Augustus Thomas’s clever comedy “The Other Girl,” which appeared in New York last year. He was admittedly drawn from “Kid McCoy,” a local celebrity, and the resemblance was certainly extraordinary. Treated properly, the pugilist is an attractive figure in fiction.


Editor’s note:
Wodehouse’s own series of “Kid Brady” stories, also based on the real-life Kid McCoy, would begin appearing in Pearson’s Magazine (US) in September 1905.