Even rarer than Les Rois de la Force, however, is Desbonnet’s Les Rois de La Lutte (The Kings of Wrestling) published one year earlier in 1910. Although not as richly illustrated, Les Rois de la Lutte still contains 149 photographs and like Les Rois de la Force is a virtual encyclopedia of wrestlers and their stories from ancient times to 1910.
Our bound volume containing Les Rois de la Lutte came from the Collection of Ottley Coulter who often bound more than one book inside a cover. As you will see in the flipping book, this bound volume opens with Desbonnet’s 1918, Comment on Devient Athlete (How One Become an Athlete). This book chronicles many of the physical educators, gymnasium owners, and teachers of physical culture who lived and worked in the nineteenth century. Desbonnet also explains his own training system that he taught in his gyms in France in the book. Again, the generous use of photographs makes this book valuable even for those who don’t read French.