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1799.1 Historical Novel, Set in About 1650, Refers to Cricket, Base-ball
Oliver Cromwell, Jane Austen
A fictional character in a novel set in the mid-17th Century recalls how, when his clerkship to a lawyer ended, a former playmate took his leave by saying:
"Ah! no more cricket, no more base-ball, they are sending me to Geneva."
Cooke, Cassandra, Battleridge" an Historical tale, Founded on facts. In Two Volumes. By a Lady of Quality (G. Cawthorn, London, 1799).
Block advises, August 2015:
That Cassandra Cooke, writing in the late 18th century, would have her readers believe that baseball was part of the vernacular in the early 17th century is certainly interesting, but since one contemporary reviewer labelled her book "despicable" there is absolutely no reason to think she had any more insight into the era than we do 216 years later.
David Block (BBWKI, page 183; see also his 19CBB advice, below) notes that Cooke was in correspondence with her cousin Jane Austen in 1798, when both were evidently writing novels containing references to base-ball. Also submitted to Protoball 8/19/06 by Ian Maun.
Cooke, like Austen, did seem to believe that readers in the early 1800s might be familiar with base- ball.