Skip to content

New book reveals what is behind tennis

Douglas College researcher to discuss new book on the social history of tennis
Robert Lake
Douglas College researcher to talk about social history of tennis at upcoming book launch.

Tennis might be known as the gentleman’s game, but a new book by Douglas College researcher Robert Lake reveals how closely the history of the sport reflects the racism, elitism and gender conflict that has shaped British society in modern times.
Lake, an instructor in the Department of Sport Science, recently published A Social History of Tennis in Britain. <>

In the 300-page book, Lake explores how tennis’ origin as a 19th-century leisure activity for elites has influenced its present-day role as a professional sport with fans across the globe.
“I’ve long been fascinated with the sport of tennis, both as a scholar and as a fan. Unfortunately, there has been a lack of academic attention paid to the sport, which is why I think this book is important. We can learn a great deal about some major aspects of social history by studying the history of tennis,” says Lake, who holds a PhD in Sport Science from London’s Brunel University.
Lake will discuss his research during an upcoming book launch at Douglas College. The event takes place on Monday, Jan. 26 at 10 a.m. in the Aboriginal Gathering Place, room 4650, on the New Westminster Campus at 700 Royal Ave. The talk is free and open to the public.
Originally from England, Lake became an instructor at Douglas in the summer of 2014. He is a tennis fan and avid amateur player, who lives in Coquitlam.
Douglas College is one of the largest colleges in British Columbia, providing applied bachelor’s degrees, university transfer, career and post-degree programs for over 20,000 students each year.
For more information, visit