Playing Games with Jane Austen


Baseball, whist, and charades: Jo Ann Staples has treated us to a dazzling spread of games, sports, and diversions popular in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. If you didn't catch it, be sure to watch her fascinating talk on "Gaming with Jane Austen."


Check out Jo Ann's book: Jane Austen Card Games: 11 Classic Card Games And 3 Supper Menus From The Novels And Letters Of Jane Austen. You can purchase it from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.


Jo Ann has also very kindly provided us with a bibliography from her talk. If you want to learn more about card games, the history of sports, or Jane Austen's pastimes, be sure to check out the books and resources below! *Resources with an asterisk have free versions available online.




Books about Historical Games

*Duckworth, Alistair M., ‘Spillikins, paper ships, riddles, conundrums, and cards’: games in Jane Austen’s life and fiction”, Jane Austen Bicentenary Essays, Ed. by John Halperin, Cambridge University Press, 1975. (Free, partial preview here)


*Hoyle, Edmond, Hoyle’s Improved Edition of the Rules for Playing Fashionable Games, Leavitt and Allen, New York, 1853.


Selwyn, David, Jane Austen and Leisure, The Hambledon Press, London, 1999.


*Strutt, Joseph, Sports and Pastimes of the People of England, White and Co., London, 1810.


*Jo Ann also recommends this website for information on cricket: https://historicinterpreter.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/georgian-era-entertainments-outdoor/


Books about Jane Austen

Austen, Caroline, My Aunt Jane Austen, A Memoir, Sarcen Press, Winchester, 1952.


Austen, Jane. The Oxford Illustrated Jane Austen. edited by R. W. Chapman, 1988.


Austen, Jane. Letters, edited by Deirdre Le Faye, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.


*Austen-Leigh, James Edward, A Memoir of Jane Austen by Her Nephew, Richard Bentley and Son, 1882.


*Austen-Leigh, Mary Augusta, Personal Aspects of Jane Austen, E.P. Dutton & Co., New York, 1920.


*Austen-Leigh, William and Austen-Leigh, Richard Arthur, Jane Austen, Her Life and Letters, A Family Record, E.P. Dutton & Co., New York, 1914.


Le Faye, Deirdre, Fanny Knight’s Diaries, Jane Austen through Her Niece’s Eyes, Sarcen Press, Winchester, 2000.


Porter, Roy, English Society in the 18th Century, Penguin Books, London, 1991.


Selwyn, David (ed.), The Poetry of Jane Austen and the Austen Family, University of Iowa Press, Iowa City, 1997.


Sperling, Diana and Mingay, Gordon, Mrs. Hurst Dancing, Victor Gollancz, Ltd., London, 1981.


Wilson, Margaret, Almost Another Sister, Kent Arts & Libraries, 1990.


Other Primary Source Material

*Bray, William, Extracts from the Diary of William Bray, published for the gratification of Mr. Bray’s descendants.


*Garrick, David, Poetical Works, George Kearsley, London, 1785.


*Newbery, John, A Little Pretty Pocket-book, Newbery and Carnan, London, 1744.

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