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Dickens Names Cricket, but not Stoolball or Rounders, Among "Merriest" Games

Salience Peripheral
Tags Famous, Fiction
City/State/Country: England
Game Cricket, Rounders
Age of Players Youth
Notables Charles Dickens


[In a Dickens short story, a traveler meets a handsome youth, and they spend time together.]  

"They had the merriest games that were ever played . . . They were active afoot, and on horseback; at cricket and all games of ball; the prisoners base, hare and hounds, follow up leader, and more sports than I can think of."


Charles Dickens,  "The Child's Story" (1852).

See also Dickens on ballplaying at pp 128, 212, and 271 (note) of David Block, Pastime Lost (U Nebraska Press, 2019).


"David Block's book Pastimes Lost cites Dickens mentioning games of ball in his letters"  reported Bruce Allardice, 3/24/2021.

Dickens did mention rounders in an 1849 letter to an acquaintance during a holiday at the Isle of Wight: "I . . . have had a great game of rounders every afternoon."  (Block, pp. 212 and 271.)

Block also notes another Dickens reference to people "playing at ball," but the site was apparently known as a racket ground, may not have have involved a baserunning game. 

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Submitted by Bruce Allardice
Submission Note Email of 3/21/2021.


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