Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace
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Monday, June 8, 2009

Regency Games

Travel back to Regency England…roughly 1811-1820. You’ve been invited to a couple of parties at the most elite homes in London. Let us explore what types of games you might indulge in on your night of frivolity. Gambling was ‘the thing’ so a lot of times your games would be met with a wager.

Evening Card Party…

Tables have been set out, and games are being played by both men and women. What games you asked? Why Faro, Commerce, Cribbage, Ecarte, Loo, Pharo, Piquet, Speculation, Whist, Vingt-et-Un (sometimes Vingt-Un). Card games were sometimes played on a wager, and other times for fun.

Imbibe on delicious snacks, cheeses, fruit, breads, pastries, and other delectable treats are being passed around. There will be wine to drink as well as sherry for the ladies and port wine for the gentleman.

Evening Parlour Games...

Snapdragon – raisins were placed in a bowl of heated sherry and then set on fire. The object of the game was to pluck the raisins out and eat them without getting burned. Popular during the winter and on Christmas Eve.

Bouts-Rimees – a rhyming game. Players would have to come up with impromptu rhymes. There was a preset list of rhyming words, and eat player would have to come up with a verse to go with the words. Also called Wit.

Charades – self explanatory.

Blind Man’s Bluff – either a man or woman is blind-folded. Another player is placed in a chair. The blindfolded person must use their hands to touch and feel the other person to figure out who they are. This game could be innocent or very scandalous!

Le Baiser à la Capucine – A French kissing game, and quite scandalous! Also called, guessing the kiss…

Chess – Often played with a wager…and in a more scandalous setting could be played for clothing.

Shades – simply having a person sit with a candle outlining their profile – casting a shadow onto a blank piece of paper. The other player would then trace their profile. This could be quite funny depending the shapes of the shadows and if a person was making a funny face.

Know of any other fun games? Naughty or nice…

9 comments:

Nicole North said...

Verrrrry interesting, Eliza! This conjures some story ideas! ;)

Eliza Knight said...

Sure does, doesn't it???

Thanks Nicole!!

Susan Macatee said...

So interesting what people used to do to entertain themselves and their guests.

Barbara said...

Great post!! Thanks :)

Ms. Lucy said...

What an interesting post! hmm..wonder if they had spin the bottle LOL!!

Emma Lai said...

Fun facts, Eliza!

oldflowers4me said...

i love your blog world.

Francesca Hawley said...

Great ideas, Eliza. I may use that lovely kissing game somewhere.

Molly said...

Strip chess!!!! And we made fun of the guys in the chess club!