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Base-ball Cited as a Suitable "Nonsuch for Eyes and Arms" of Australian Ladies

Salience Peripheral
Tags Females
City/State/Country: Sydney, Australia
Game Base=-ball
Immediacy of Report Contemporary
Age of Players Youth, Adult

Am Australian periodical saw limitations in a book on healthful activities for women and girls.  The book is Calisthenic Exercises: Arranged for the Private Tuition of Ladies, is attributed to a Signor Voarino and was published in London in 1827.

"Signor Voarino, as a foreigner, perhaps was not aware that we had diversions like these just mentioned, and many others of the same kind — such, for example (for our crtical knowledge is limited) as hunt the slipper, which gives dexterity of hand and ham; leap frog, which strengthens the back (only occasionally indulged in, we believe, by merry girls;) romps, which quicken all the faculties; tig, a rare game for universal corporeal agility; base-ball, a nonsuch for eyes and arms ! [probably a typo for a semicolon--jt] ladies' toilet, for vivacity and apprehension; spinning the plate, for neatness and rapidity; grass-hopping (alias shu-cock) for improving in muscularity and fearlessness--all these, and hundreds more, we have had for ages; s[o] that it looks ridiculous to bring out as a grand philosophical discovery, the art of instructing women how to have canes or sticks laid on their backs."


The Australian (Sydney), May 14, 1828, page 4.  This excerpt appears in a column called "British Sayings and Doings."

(In February 2017 David Block notes that he has seen a copy of the original issue of the "London Literary Gazette" in which the review of Signor Voarino's book first appeared.)


This book is also described in item 1827.10.  Protoball is attempting to determine whether the Voarino book itself touches on other baserunning games in the 1820s.

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Submitted by John Thorn
Submission Note Email of 2/3/2017
Has Supplemental Text Yes


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Supplemental Text

John Thorn sent a PDF image of the full page to Protoball.  Contact lmccray@mit.edu to receive it.

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