Search for your sports books:

MoneyMap

Read Review
<back to archive

A Race with Love and Death By Richard Williams

Release date: 18th March, 2020
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

List Price: 19.99
Our Price: 15.77
You Save: 4.22 (21%)
Buy Now

The age of the charismatic, dashing, devil-may-care Formula One driver has long since disappeared. James Hunt was probably the last of that particular breed, but there’s no doubt that Dick Seaman, winner of the 1938 German Grand Prix, was the genuine article. His privileged background, obvious love of danger and controversial taste in women mark him out as a man with whom PG Wodehouse would have had plenty of fun.

Richard Williams, author of the acclaimed The Death of Ayrton Senna, has obvious F1 pedigree and once again has done a sterling job, introducing readers to a little-known racing ace who would, almost inevitably, die young at the wheel of a fast car.

Born into an exceptionally wealthy family in 1913, Seaman attended Rugby School and Trinity College, Cambridge. A strapping lad, he rowed for Trinity during the ‘bumps’ and later at Henley Regatta, but it was road speed that captured his heart.

By the time he was in his early twenties, Seaman was a regular on the European racing circuit. His potential was spotted by Mercedes who signed him in 1937 as war clouds loomed over the continent. An Englishman driving for a German team on the eve of World War II adds a measure of intrigue to the narrative; this is supplemented with an unexpected romantic thread when Seaman falls in love with Erica Popp, daughter of BMW’s general manager.

A year after signing for Mercedes, Seaman won the German Grand Prix at Nurburgring driving a Mercedes W154, much to the delight of the 300,000 crowd which included several senior members of the Nazi party. Seaman is seen wearing his winning medal (a swastika) effecting an awkward-looking Nazi salute, an action seemingly approved by the Foreign Office.

Five months after winning at Nurburgring, Seaman married Popp though he was uneasy about remaining with Mercedes as war appeared inevitable. He remained and in the early summer of 1939 travelled to the Belgian Grand Prix. It was here that disaster struck as Seaman careered off the track, hit two trees and his car burst into flames. Though he was rescued from the burning car, he died eight hours later, aged just 26.

At his funeral, a wreath arrived bearing a swastika and the sender’s name: Adolf Hitler. Following the funeral service, the wreath was discreetly removed; it was not taken to Seaman’s final resting place in Putney Vale cemetery.


<back to archive


MoneyMapp


SBOTM Current Top 10

Get It On: How the ?70s Rocked Football By Jon Spurling
Biteback
Read Review Buy Now
Time on Rock By Anna Fleming
Canongate
Read Review Buy Now
41-Love: A Memoir By Scarlett Thomas
Counterpoint
Read Review Buy Now
Anatomy of a Football Scout by Jon Cotterill
Camara Brasileira
Read Review Buy Now
Sweat: A History of Physical Exercise By Bill Hayes
Bloomsbury Sport
Read Review Buy Now
52 Ways to Walk By Annabel Streets
Bloomsbury Sport
Read Review Buy Now
Fit And Proper People By Martin Calladine & James Cave
Pitch Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
God is Dead The Rise & Fall of Frank Vandenbrouke By Andy McGrath
Bantam Books
Read Review Buy Now
Butler to the World How Britain Became the Servant of Oligarchs, Tax Dodgers, Kleptocrats and Criminals By Oliver Bullough
Profile Books
Read Review Buy Now
A Delicate Game Brain Injury, Sport and Sacrifice By Hana Walker-Brown
Hodder
Read Review Buy Now

© 2004-2022 Sharks Media Limited.