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Progress in Play: Board Games and the Meaning of History

- February 20, 2019 in Art & Illustrations, board games, colonialism, Culture & History, Featured Articles, french revolution, games, history of board games, nationalism, progress, soviet union

Players moving pieces along a track to be first to reach a goal was the archetypal board game format of the 18th and 19th century. Alex Andriesse looks at one popular incarnation in which these pieces progress chronologically through history itself, usually with some not-so-subtle ideological, moral, or national ideal as the object of the game.

Progress in Play: Board Games and the Meaning of History

- February 20, 2019 in Art & Illustrations, board games, colonialism, Culture & History, Featured Articles, french revolution, gameboards, games, history of board games, nationalism, progress, soviet union

Players moving pieces along a track to be first to reach a goal was the archetypal board game format of the 18th and 19th century. Alex Andriesse looks at one popular incarnation in which these pieces progress chronologically through history itself, usually with some not-so-subtle ideological, moral, or national ideal as the object of the game.

Le Centre de l’Amour (ca. 1687)

- February 9, 2016 in emblem books, emblems, games, love, pastimes

The centre of love: discovered through various emblems, gallant and facetious — a delightfully illustrated emblem book exploring all corners of seventeenth-century courtship.

Le Centre de l’Amour (ca. 1687)

- February 9, 2016 in emblem books, emblems, games, love, pastimes

The centre of love: discovered through various emblems, gallant and facetious — a delightfully illustrated emblem book exploring all corners of seventeenth-century courtship.

Dennison’s Bogie Book for Halloween (1920)

- October 30, 2012 in collections, games, guide, halloween, party, texts, Texts: 20th, Texts: Miscellaneous, Texts: Non-fiction

Dennison’s bogie book, by Dennison manufacturing co.; 1920; Dennison manufacturing co., Framingham, Massachusetts.] Decoration, costume and party suggestions from 1920 for the night of Halloween, that one time (according to the book) “of all the year when an opportunity is supposed to be given for looking into the future and having one’s fate settled for the coming twelve months”. Full of lots of handicraft tips on making that perfect spooky zone, as well as various party games (mostly involving blindfolds and choosing future loves) and a couple of ghost stories to read when midnight strikes. So.. “Why not invite your friends to a Hallowe’en party and join in the fun of trying some of the time-honored ways of finding out what the future holds in store?” The book is housed at the Internet Archive, donated by the Library of Congress. Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

Yuletide Entertainments (1910)

- December 22, 2011 in christmas, entertainment, games, monologues, non-article, Plays, tableauxs, texts, yuletide


Yuletide Entertainments: Christmas recitations, monologues, drills, tableaux, motion songs, exercises, dialogues and plays, suitable for all ages, by Ellen M. Willard; 1910; T. S. Denison & company, Chicago.

Christmas recitations, monologues, drills, tableaux, motion songs, exercises, dialogues and plays, suitable for all ages. From the introduction: “It becomes more and more a part of Christmas gayety to present the legends, or the spirit of it, to the eye as well as the mind. For this purpose the following pages have been prepared in play and pantomime, songs and marches, drills and recitations. While the needs of adults have not been forgotten, those of the children have been most largely remembered, since Christmas is pre-eminently the children’s festival. A word to those who take charge of such affairs may not be amiss. Precision of movement is the keynote of success for everything of this kind. This does not mean stiffness, but it does mean exactitude and certainty. Uncertain gestures in speaking; scattered attack and close in singing ; hesitation in acting ; and, more than all, careless motions and marching in the drills (corners not formed squarely, motions only half in unison, etc.) — all these are fatal to that success which makes such entertainments entertaining. Here, as everywhere else, “What is worth doing at all, is worth doing well.”

Open Library link



Letters From a Cat (1879)

Castaway on the Auckland Isles: A Narrative of the Wreck of the "Grafton," (1865)


Infant's Cabinet of Birds and Beasts (1820)

Old French Fairytales (1920)

Armata: a fragment (1817)

An Account of the Late Improvements in Galvanism (1803)

The Medical Aspects of Death, and the Medical Aspects of the Human Mind (1852)

Quarles' Emblems (1886)

Cat and bird stories from the "Spectator" (1896)

Wonderful Balloon Ascents (1870)

The Book of Topiary (1904)

The Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (1899)

English as She is Spoke (1884)

The Danger of Premature Interment (1816)

The Last American (1889)

Pirates (1922)

Napoleon's Oraculum (1839)

Horse Laughs (1891)

Hydriotaphia/Urn-Burial and The Garden of Cyrus (1658)

Across the Zodiac: the Story of a Wrecked Record (1880)

Superstitions About Animals (1904)

The Diary of a Nobody (1919 edition)

The Attitudes of Animals in Motion, Illustrated with the Zoopraxiscope (1882)

The Eccentric Mirror: Reflecting a Faithful and Interesting Delineation of Male and Female Characters, Ancient and Modern (1807)

Uriah Jewett and the Sea Serpent of Lake Memphemagog (1917)

Yuletide Entertainments (1910)

Mythical Monsters (1886)