Current Release

Current Release
The Warrior's Viking Bride

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Using the Board and croquet's history

I went out and purchased my bulletin board -- a lovely blue felt cover board, a box of push pins (called toggle pins by the lady in the shop) and a set of coloured index cards. I did map out my story and I did see where the holes were. Thus far I would that it does help.

I had thought that I would have my characters play croquet or possibly pall mall. However, I then began to do my research. Contrary to many text books, pall mall and croquet's only relation is that they were played with mallets and balls. Pall mall is more likely to be a precursor of golf. Croquet is probably more like a cousin than a direct descendant.
Despite being popular with Charles II, pall mall fell out of fashion in the 18th century and disappears from English society. Croquet appears in the 1850s.
Croquet seems to have to been developed in France, brought over to Ireland in the 1830s as Crookey and then brought to England in time for the Great Exhibition of 1851 where Jaques of London displayed the first complete set. Jaques as a company dates from 1795 and still sells some of the best garden game equipment around.
Anyway, I decided that as the story is set in 1837, it is probably best if they play bowls. The first bowling green in England dates from 1299. Lawn bowls remains a popular game today. Hexham for example has a lovely bowling green.
Does this mean that people who reference pall mall in Regency books are wrong? It was not a popular sport, but people have had a tendency to like to hit things through hoops. As for me, I am sticking with bowls.

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