Victorian Entertainments: “We Are Amused”
An Exhibit Illustrating Victorian Entertainment

Walter L. Arnstein, Christina Bashford, Nicholas Temperley, curators

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library
University of Illinois

(Click on Images for Largest-sized View)

Exhibit Home 

Case 1

Item 1: An Orchestra at Windsor
     Contrary to what is sometimes thought, Queen Victoria enjoyed music. She sang, played the piano, and loved attending the Italian Opera. In this engraved illustration of 1890, a children’s orchestra is giving a private concert at Windsor. Seated beside the Queen are Princess Beatrice (her youngest daughter) and the Duchess of Teck (a first cousin of the Queen, and the orchestra’s patron). The fourth female may well be the Duchess’s daughter, May (later wife of George V).One of the most notable aspects of this image is the predominance of girls in the orchestra, especially on the violin – an instrument which, up to about 1870, was rarely played by young ladies. Also, the fact that the conductor has his back to the Queen suggests a more relaxed approach to court etiquette than had hitherto obtained: forty years earlier, when conducting an orchestra at the induction of Prince Albert as Chancellor of Cambridge University, the conductor had stood with his back to the players, in order to face royalty. C.B.

     The Illustrated London News.  London: William Little, v.96:March 22nd, 1890. Q.072IL

Reference: Scholes, Percy: The Mirror of Music 1844-1944: A Century of Musical Life in Britain as Reflected in the Pages of the “Musical Times” (London: Novello, 1947).

Item 2: Women
     This is an 1875, satirical depiction of women playing the instruments which, until very recently, had been gendered ‘male’ and culturally out of bounds to them.  Not only was it considered unsightly for a respectable woman to hold a violin under her chin (less still a cello between her knees), the instrument carried longstanding symbolism as the devil’s instrument, and women string players thus seemed both dangerous and sexually alluring: note the rapt male audience’s gaze, and the suggestive dress and poses of the performers. Blowing into a wind or brass instrument held further connotations of physical ugliness and indecency. The woman on the far right of the stage is playing a caricature of a bass brass instrument - a way of intensifying the satire, since the gender taboos surrounding wind instruments would last longer still. C.B.

     Punch. London: Punch Publications, v.68: April 3rd, 1875, p. 150. 827.05PU

Reference: Gillett, Paula: Musical Women in England, 1870-1914: “Encroaching on All Man’s Privileges” (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000).

Case 2

Item 3: Piano Music for the Home
     This set of twelve polkas for piano solo was composed and published to capitalize on the huge public interest in the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations in London (Hyde Park) in 1851.  The Crystal Palaces Polkas are simply-constructed, jaunty pieces, ideally suited to the Victorian amateur pianist. A range of countries is represented, beginning with England and including Hungary, America and Spain.
     The engraving on the music’s cover places an appropriately diverse selection of Exhibition visitors in the foreground. Some six million people came (43,000 per day), including many travelers from abroad. C.B.

     The Crystal Palace Polkas. London: [n.d.] Q.M786.4108C889

Items 4 and 5: Concerts in the Crystal Palace
     After the Great Exhibition closed, the famous glass building was transferred to a site in south London (Sydenham),  reopening in May 1852 as a leisure park. All sorts of amusements were scheduled (both the edifying and the diverting), including exhibitions of fine arts, horticulture shows, theatrical performances, concerts, firework displays, and the high-wire act of Blondin. An orchestra performed twice daily, and on Saturday afternoons gave formal symphony concerts.
      The detailed and extensive program notes sold to listeners at the Saturday Concerts reflect the seriousness of these events. What is also striking is the inclusion of themes and extracts in music type, an indication of how prevalent musical literacy was in Victorian culture. Note too that these program notes were through-paginated, suggesting that they were intended to be retained and bound up for further study and reflection at home, with the aid of the domestic piano. C.B.


Saturday Concerts Programme. Sydenham: Crystal Palace, March 26th, 1881, pp. 610-611. Personal copy, Christina Bashford.

Saturday Concerts Programme. Sydenham: Crystal Palace, April 3rd, 1880. 780.73Sa84p

Reference: Musgrave, Michael: The Musical Life of the Crystal Palace (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995).

Item 6: Home Entertainment System

     There were at least two "peep show" optical toys produced for the Great Exhibition of 1851. The library's copy is the deluxe model, with nine interior panels depicting crowds gathered around the wonders on display.
    By the mid-nineteenth century, this souvenir's cousin, the "raree," or travelling peep show that featured more elaborate panels and a showman's narration of scenes; the death of Nelson at Trafalgar, the Queen of Sheba's visit to Solomon, Daniel in the Lion's Den, etc., had begun an inexorable decline. D.S.

     Lane’s Telescopic View of the Interior of the Great Industrial Exhibition. London: C. Lane, 1851. IUB00067



Case 3

Item 7: Londoners at the Boat Race
     The prolific and popular French book illustrator, Gustave Doré, (in collaboration with Blanchard Jerrold) in 1872 published London, a compilation of 182 illustrations divided among twenty-one chapters that dealt with Londoners, their houses and their streets while at work and at play.   Fewer than two thousand university students each attended Oxford and Cambridge in that era, but many more than one hundred thousand Londoners, both poor and wealthy, cheered a major national event, the annual Oxford/Cambridge boat race on the Thames.  They watched from bridges, piers, and other boats—an assemblage that evoked frantic cries and shouts, “Bravo Oxford! Give it ‘em Cambridge!”
      “It is on the day of the boat-race that the boys of London are seen in all their glory…, dangling from the arches, swinging from the frailest boughs of trees, wading amid the rushes….”   Later at the post-race dinner one might encounter “a full representation of the gentlemen of England…. Grouped about the chair are elders of the Universities, fighting their old battles over again, and bathing heartily in the flush and glow of the combatants of to-day.” W.L.A.

     Jerrold, Blanchard & Gustave Doré. London: a pilgrimage. London: Grant &Co., 1872,
p. 61. Q.914.21J4871

Item 8: Lewis Carroll at Wimbledon
      The famed author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) was also Charles L. Dodgson, Late Mathematical Lecturer of Christ Church Oxford, who found himself troubled at the onset of a new era of Lawn Tennis Tournament competition.  In his True Method of Assigning Prizes (1883),he set forth a mathematical formula of competitor pairing so as to avoid “unjust results.”   In subsequent years, the organizers would solve the difficulty by “seeding.” W.L.A.

     Dodgson, Charles. Lawn Tennis Tournaments. London: Macmillan, 1883. 796.34D66l           

Item 9: Tobogganing
      Beginning in early 1898, the Ladies Field provided an elegant weekly survey—with lavish photographs and illustrations—of the doings of women fox hunters, golfers, and field hockey players.  The journal also provided sections on “Animal Gossip,” Jewelry, Needlecraft, and Music.
      In the issue of February 10, 1900, their correspondent in Switzerland alerted readers to the joys of a novel sport, sledding or tobogganing.  Although men downhill racers lay face downward, “the position considered most graceful for women” was a sitting posture in which the lady wore a short and tight-fitting skirt and snow boots combined with gaiters.
      “The exhilaration of skimming through the cold air is really beyond description, and the suspicion of danger connected with the pursuit does but lend additional excitement to it.” W.L.A.

     Ladies Field. London: Ladies Field, v.8: February 20th, 1900, p. 363. 052LADF

Case 4

Items 10 and 11: Choralism
      Scenes from The Song of Hiawatha by the composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, to words by the American poet H. W. Longfellow, were first performed in England between 1898 and 1900, and became a huge success with amateur choral societies almost instantly. The exotic and popular appeal of the subject matter, the words and the music (some of the tunes aped American Indian melodies), combined with the composer’s West African origins, gave the work a strong cachet, which endured for some decades. The preliminary pages of Novello and Co.’s piano-vocal score displayed here included guidance to the pronunciation of the American-Indian words.
      Novello enjoyed enormous commercial success selling cheap editions of choral works such as Hiawatha to satisfy the huge amateur interest in singing, and the demand for multiple copies of music. Many of these piano-vocal octavo editions are still in circulation today, and retain the distinctive cover design that the series carried (as can be seen in the edition of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius on exhibition). Interestingly, while Coleridge-Taylor’s Hiawatha brought enormous financial returns to the firm, the composer and his family had no significant share in the profits: Coleridge-Taylor had sold the copyright to the Novello for fifteen guineas. Elgar’s negotiations over his works were notably different: for Gerontius he received a down-payment of £200 and reasonable royalties. C.B.



Coleridge-Taylor, Samuel. Scenes From the Song of Hiawatha: op. 30. London: Novello, c1900, p. [xv]. M1533C65op.30N61


Elgar, Edward. Dream of Gerontius. London: Novello, c1900. Personal copy, Nicholas Temperley.

Reference: Hurd, Michael: Vincent Novello – and Company (St Albans and London: Granada, 1981).

Item 12: Opera
      This pocket guide to Wagner’s operas sits among a large body of music appreciation literature that appeared around the turn of the century. Providing histories of the operas, plot synopses and explanations of how Wagner’s music articulates the drama, the volume encourages the opera-goer to engage critically with the interpretations he or she hears, and provides blank spaces to record the casts of different productions. This copy belonged to a woman named Dora Cox, who lists both the singers heard at a performance of Lohengrin at Covent Garden, London, in May 1905, and those witnessed at a Dresden staging later that month. She also comments on the quality of the voices. C.B. 

     Dry, Wakeling. Nights at the Opera, 2nd ed. London: A. Moring, The De la More Press, 1903,      pp. 60-61. 782.08D847n

Item 13: The Dancer’s Reward
      Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) wrote the one-act drama Salomé in 1891, when he was just entering his period of greatest success as a comic dramatist.  He wrote it in French.  Sarah Bernhardt prepared it for London, but it was censored by the Lord Chamberlain because it infringed the laws against religious dramas.  In 1894 it was published in a translation by Lord Alfred Douglas (1870–1945), with “decadent” drawings by Aubrey Beardsley (1872–98), whose sophisticated vampire is a long way from Wilde’s innocent virgin corrupted by Herod’s brutal desires.  Here, in a print titled “The Dancer’s Reward,” Salome is seen receiving the head of Jokanaan.  It was Beardsley’s vision that shaped the popular image of Salomé, as illustrated in Richard Strauss’s opera (1905). N.T.  

     Wilde, Oscar. Salomé: a tragedy in one act. London: E. Mathews & J. Lane, 1894, p. 41.      822W64se1894


Item 14: Theatre-Royal, Edinburgh, playbill (May 11, 1857)
      Charles Dillon took his company on tour in 1857, and appeared as Othello in Edinburgh.  Also advertised is The Beacon, or The Convict Ship (elsewhere subtitled Norwegian Wreckers), a melodrama by Edward Fitzball (1793–1873), playwright and librettist.   Written in 1824, it is an example of a popular variety of melodrama, the nautical, and it held the stage for several decades.  Note that Henry Irving, aged 19, was a member of the cast. N.T.

Item 15: Theatre Royal, Middlesbrough, playbill (February 21-25, 1876)
     Middlesbrough, on the northeast Yorkshire coast, was a new and fast-growing industrial town. By the 1850s it boasted several theaters and music halls.  A notable entrepreneur named John Imeson built the Royal Albert theatre, accommodating 2,000 people, in 1866, and in 1870 renamed it Theatre Royal.  It hosted both local stock companies and traveling groups.
     The poster shows three plays offered in a single week of February 1876.  “Peep O’Day Boys” (1867) was a four-act historical drama by Edward Falconer about the disturbances in County Antrim, Ireland, in 1784–96.  Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s sensational novel, Lady Audley’s Secret (1861), hadappeared in at least three adaptations.  John Baldwin Buckstone’s comedy Married Life (1838) was an old warhorse that still held the stage. N.T. 

Case 5

Item 16: Macready’s Prompt Books for Hamlet
      William Charles Macready (1793–1873) was the pre-eminent Shakespearean actor-director of the early Victorian period.  This volume consists of an 1838 print of Hamlet interleaved with blank sheets on which are written notes about more than one production of the play.  It was put together by one Hermann Lezin, “but,” as an inscription on the title page tells us, “—marked, —corrected, &c. &c. by W. C. Macready, Esqre at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, 1841–2.”
     Opposite the first page of Act III, scene 1, is a diagram of the stage, made ready for the “play within a play” that will be performed to the King and Queen.  Positions are indicated by three grooves (“Gr.”), about six feet apart, whose principal function was to house the flats that were inserted when a change of scenery was required.  The handwritten description reads: “3 State Chairs & Footstools, on L[eft], — 2 Handsome D[itt]o by [Groove] 2 C[enter]-R[ight], Transp[aren]t Oriel Window, set R[ight] U[pstage] C[enter], before which stands a High Desk, or Bookstand, on it an illumin[ate]d missal — very large — lies open.  A prac[tica]ble Arras in Arch, R[ight] flat, — D[itt]o, also, in C[enter]-Arch, to open in C[enter] being the ‘Curtain’ for the ‘Play’.” N.T.

     Hamlet: prompt copy…acted by W.C. Macready, Esq. at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane,      1841-42. p. 40. 792.9 Sh15h

Item 17: Tallis’s Dramatic Magazine [1850/1]
     This stylized representation of a staged play was designed for the cover of a short-lived magazine (1850–51).  It shows Hamlet (probably played by Macready) introducing the players to Polonius.  He is asking him to “see the players well bestowed” and to “use them after [his] own honour and dignity” (Act II, scene 2).  This scene was no doubt chosen in part to express the magazine’s agenda. N.T.

Item 18: Henry Irving as Hamlet [1887]
     Henry Irving (1838–1905) became an actor in his teens, despite the disapproval of his strongly Methodist family.  He learned his trade through fifteen years of apprenticeship, playing minor roles in stock companies that toured the provincial theaters.  His sudden rise to pre-eminence came with his performance of Hamlet, which opened on 31 October 1874 and ran for 200 nights, an unprecedented run for a Shakespeare play. 
     In 1878 Irving entered on his famous reign as manager of the Lyceum (1878–1901), in which he was assisted as business manager by Bram Stoker (1847–1912), author  of Dracula.  “Together they made the Lyceum the cultural heart of London,” according to Barbara Belford in the Oxford DNB.  Irving frequently played opposite his leading lady and possibly mistress, Ellen Terry (1847–1928), whose sunny  charm was a perfect foil to his dark and sardonic manner.  Despite the implacable hostility of George Bernard Shaw and other critics, Irving’s reputation as the greatest Shakespearean of his time was established by public acclaim, and culminated in his knighthood (1895), the first ever awarded to an actor. N.T.

Item 19: Irving’s Edition of Hamlet
     Irving’s editions of Shakespeare represent his usage at the Lyceum.  He returned to Shakespeare’s wording and restored essential parts that had been traditionally omitted, but made considerable cuts of his own, because the extensive scene changes of the period did not leave enough time for uncut versions.  Act III, Scene 1 can be compared with the same scene in the Macready promptbook.  This copy is inscribed by Irving to Angela Burdett-Coutts (1814–1906), the well-known philanthropist, patron of the arts, and self-styled “Baroness.” N.T.

     Shakespeare, William. Hamlet: a tragedy in five acts. London: Chiswick, 1875, p. 22-3.      822.33S7ir1875

Item 20: Charles Dillon as Othello [n.d.]
     Charles Dillon (1819–81), born at Diss, Norfolk, played in the minor London and provincial theaters for a number of years, when he gradually established himself as a Shakespearian actor.  His reputation rose rapidly in 1856 when his performance in the title role of Belphegor the Mountebank by Charles Webb brought him to the attention of the London critics.  He took a lease of the Lyceum Theatre for two years (1856–58), and put himself forward successfully as Othello, where he was commended for his “geniality, tenderness, and understatement.” The gorgeous costume, intended to be historically authentic, shows the influence of Charles Kean’s spectacular antiquarianism. N.T.

Case 6

Item 21. Jennie Lee, “Jo the Crossing Sweeper” [1853]
     Jennie Lee (c1858–1930) built her career largely on breeches roles.  She debuted as a page in Hervé’s comic opera Chilpéric at the Lyceum Theatre in 1870.  For two years she was “principal boy” at the Strand Theatre, creating the title role in Buckstone’s Jack Sheppard.  In 1872 she accompanied Edward Southern (1826–81) on an American tour, where he revived his fame as Dundreary in Tom Taylor’s farce Our American Cousin, of Lincoln associations, while Lee took the role of Mary Meredith.
     It was in San Francisco that she first played Jo, the ragged crossing-sweeper boy who is an essential cog in the plot of Charles Dickens’s Bleak House.  Called simply Jo, it was the work of the minor dramatist J. P. Burnett (1846–1917), who played the part of Buckett the policeman; it was never published.  Burnett married Jennie Lee during the San Francisco tour. 
     Burnett’s play made Jo the principal character in a melodramatic story that climaxed in the boy’s tear-jerking demise.  When it was revived at the Globe Theatre on 21 February 1876, Lee scored an immense success.  The Athenaeum critic, though complaining that the play was “too gloomy,” considered that Miss Lee played the part “with a realism and a pathos difficult to surpass.  A more striking revelation of talent has seldom been made.  In get-up and acting the character was thoroughly realized; and the hoarse voice, the slouching dejected gait, and the movement as of some hunted animal, were admirably exhibited.”  The rest of Jennie Lee’s career was almost entirely based on this play, which appeared all over the world, though in July 1905 she played Oliver Twist at Her Majesty’s Theatre.  Advancing age, it seems, was no bar to her impersonation of small boys. N.T.

Item 22: Bleak House or Poor "Jo"
     On 27 March 1876, within a few weeks of Burnett and Lee’s joint triumph, a rival adaptation by George Lander was mounted at the Pavilion Theatre, London, but with a boy playing Jo.  It is printed here as one of Dicks’ Standard Plays, which numbered 614, including five based on incidents in Dickens’s novels.  Four more versions of “Jo”  were yet to appear; as Nina Auerbach has put it, “Long after Dickens’s death, Jo continued to provide a show-case for shapely actresses.” N.T.

     Lander, George. Bleak House, or, Poor “Jo.” London: J. Dicks, 1876. IUB00207

Item 23: Scene from Buckstone, The Flowers of the Forest [1847]
     John Baldwin Buckstone (1802–79) was a comedian and writer of farces, with a secondary line in melodrama.  The Flowers of the Forest, one of his best known melodramas, premiered at the Adelphi Theatre in 1847.  It turns on the trial of an innocent gentleman, Alfred, for a murder that was really committed by a gypsy boy, Lemuel. 
     In this climactic scene from the third Act, two young women struggle for control of Lemuel’s person.  Cynthia (left), an Italian gypsy who harbors a selfless love for Alfred, has just dragged Lemuel out of his tent: “Come away — you shall, and prevent the shedding of innocent blood!”  But Starlight Bess (right), who is Lemuel’s lover, is determined to save him from the gallows; she shrieks at Cynthia: “Let him be!  Take off your hold!  What if he did do what he says; we care for none beyond our own people!”  Lemuel himself vacillates between honor and self-preservation.  “Bess, save me!” he wails feebly.  Cynthia taunts him: “You cannot move!  Your guilt makes you as weak as a child.”  Agitated action music is heard throughout the scene. 
     All three parts were played by women in the first production: Cynthia by Céline Céleste (1810/11–82), a French actress who made her career in Britain; Bess by Fanny Elizabeth Fitzwilliam (1801–54); and Lemuel by Sarah Jane Woolgar (1824–1909).  Dickens spoke of Woolgar’s performance as the “the most remarkable and complete piece of melodrama” he had seen. N.T.

Item 24: Pantomimes of the 1897 Christmas Season
     Three pantomimes are depicted here, illustrating brief reviews on other pages.  All are based on favorite traditional stories, one historical, the others legendary.  Dick Whittington and His Cat was playing at the Grand Theatre, Islington, a northern suburb of London.  Lily Harold is shown prominently as Dick in a scene with the Cat, played by a Mr. J. Doyle.  The greatest fun, according to the reviewer, was provided by three male comedians: Thomas O’Mulligan (left front), “a quaint American droll” as an Irish sea-captain; Charles Stevens (right front) as the villain Idle Jack; and Harry Randall (also right front) as the Cook who flirts with O’Mulligan.
     Aladdin, at the Grand Theatre Fulham, is represented by a single scene in the Peking Market.  The men-at-arms are obviously played by women.  In Cinderella, at the Garrick, the reviewer complained of “too much music-hallism . . . The music ranges from Weber and Mendelssohn to Lottie Collins [a popular music-hall singer and dancer]. . . . The fancy of the fairy tale becomes rather lost in the rollicking low comedy of the ugly sisters, played by Mr. John Le Hay and Mr. Harry Nicholls”: they can be seen to the right of the throne.  Beside and in front of them are the Prince (Helen Bertram) and Cinderella (Grace Dudley). N.T.

     The Illustrated London News. London: William Little, v.112: January 1st, 1898, pp. 6-7. Q.072IL

Case 7

Item 25: Blackface Minstrelsy
     Christy’s Minstrels were a "blackface" comic song and dance troupe that enjoyed intense popularity, most notably among the middle classes, during the craze for American minstrelsy in Britain in the 1860s and 70s. Their performances, which claimed to recreate modes of entertainment found among black plantation slaves, comprised mixtures of ballads, comic songs and burlesque. Banjo, fiddle, tambourine and bone castanets were probably the accompanying instruments. The songs on display, many of them American in origin, were drawn from the shows and arranged for voice(s) and piano.  The simple vocal lines, harmonies and easy accompaniments would have made them ideal for amateur performance in the Victorian drawing-room. C.B.

     Boosey’s Christy’s Minstrels Albums. London : Boosey & Sons, [1859]. M1622B66

Reference: Scott, Derek B.: “Blackface Minstrels, Black Minstrels, and their Reception in England,” Europe, Empire, and Spectacle in Nineteenth-Century British Music, ed. Rachel Cowgill and Julian Rushton (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006), pp.265-80.

Item 26: A Singing Ventriloquist
      This booklet contains the words to the songs sung by the celebrated ventriloquist Frederic Maccabe in a popular entertainment he took on tour across Britain and the Empire, c1860. It contains nineteen songs, all by Maccabe, printed in the order in which they appeared in the program, and with occasional illustrations. Topical numbers include the "ventriloqual" patter song “Maccabe’s Excursion Train: or, The Trials of the Railway Porter.” C.B.

     Maccabe, Frederic. Programme Book of Words and Songs. London: Grant & Co., [1874].      M1508.B436M22B663

Item 27: Songs for Pleasure
     This little book of words to popular English songs, many of them probably eighteenth century in origin, was issued in 1834, with a striking fold-out illustration, displayed here. Each image depicts a song from the book, including one that celebrates the pastime of angling. Several of the numbers are convivial, male drinking songs; others are humorous or sentimental.  No music is included, but tunes would have been well known to potential purchasers. C.B.

     Richardson’s New Modern Minstrel. Derby : T. Richardson, 1834. M1738R541834

Item 28: Sullivan Without Gilbert
     The composer Arthur Sullivan, famed for his partnership with the gifted satirical librettist W. S. Gilbert (which brought forth the thirteen comic “Savoy Operas” – works such as The Mikado and HMS Pinafore - between 1875 and 1896) is depicted in this cartoon for the weekly magazine Vanity Fair. The image, a chromo-lithograph by Carlo Pellegrini, using his signature “Ape”, is one of a series of caricatures of famous people that the magazine became renowned for. Leslie Ward, who used the alias “Spy,” caricatured Gilbert seven years later, in 1881.
       But note that Sullivan’s caricature dates from the year before his first truly successful collaboration with Gilbert occurred (Trial by Jury, 1875), indicating that at this point Sullivan had a weighty profile as a composer of other, more serious, genres of music. C.B.

     Vanity Fair Album. London: “Vanity Fair” Office, 1869-1912. v.6, 1874. Q.741V31

Item 29: Gilbert With Sullivan
     Utopia Ltd, a contemporary satire on limited liability companies and the workings of the British Empire, marked Gilbert and Sullivans' return to collaboration after their acrimonious dispute in 1890. The operetta opened in October 1893 at the Savoy Theatre, London.  Gilbert was always closely involved in directing rehearsals, and insisted the actors knew their lines by heart.  This illustration records him reading the libretto of Utopia Ltd to the D’Oyly Carte company. Seated around Gilbert are Sullivan, Richard D’Oyly Carte (the impresario), and Albert Cellier (the conductor).  The baritone Rutland Barrington, who sang King Paramount (the King of Utopia),is among the audience. C.B.

     Fitzgerald, Percy Hetherington, 1834-1925. The Savoy Opera and the Savoyards. London: Chatto &Windus, 1894, unnumbered plate between pp. 240-41. 782.1 F575s

Case 8

Item 30: The New Sporting Magazine
     Although Prince Albert served as patron, this monthly periodical provided early-Victorian vestiges of eighteenth-century sports such as bull-baiting, cock-fights, and (shown here) a battle between dogs and badgers. The magazine, which ignored both cricket and football, was also concerned with horse racing and gambling, with lists of Stag Hunts and Fox Hunts, and with topics such as “Wrestling in Devonshire and Cornwall” and “Tiger Hunting in India.” W.L.A.

     The New Sporting Magazine. London: Baldwin & Craddock, v.7: February 1844, p. 74. 796.05NEn.s.

Item 31: Golf in 1890
       This volume of the Badminton Library of Sports and Pastimes is, like the others, dedicated to the Prince of Wales, “one of the best and keenest sportsmen of our time.”  The book begins with a history of golf (a Celtic word for club). Its sixteen chapters also include “The Humours of Golf” by the future prime minister, Arthur James Balfour.  In the cartoon by Harry Furniss, “May and December,” Balfour reminds readers that golf may be played at almost any age by every degree of skill. W.L.A.

     Hutchinson, Horace G. Golf. (Badminton Library of Sports and Pastimes). London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1890, p. 445. 796.352H97g

Item 32: Skating in 1892
      This volume of the Badminton Library of Sports and Pastimes provides chapters on topics such as “Origins and Development,” “Figure Skating,” “Recreation and Racing,” and “Style and Training.”  After reminding readers that, just as Switzerland was “the Alpine Climber’s Paradise,” so Holland was “the Skater’s Paradise.”  After providing a list of racing records since the 1820s, the co-editors added separate chapters on Curling, Tobogganing, Ice-Sailing, and Ice Hockey. W.L.A.

     Heathcote, John Moyer. Skating. (Badminton Library of Sports and Pastimes). London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1892, frontispiece. 796.91H35s

Item 33: Cricket in 1888
       One of the earliest of the twenty-four pioneer volumes that made up the Badminton Library of Sports and Pastimes.  The general editor was Henry Charles Fitzroy Somerset, the 8th Duke of Beaufort (1824-1899), who dedicated the series to the Prince of Wales.  The illustrated book, Cricket, includes sixteen chapters on topics such as “Batting,” “Bowling,” “Fielding,” and “Umpires.”   It defines London’s Marylebone Cricket Club at Lords as “The Parliament of Cricket,” and describes the sport as “Our National Game.” W.L.A.

     Steel, Allan Gibson. Cricket. (Badminton Library of Sports and Pastimes). London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1888, p. 77. 796.358St32c

Item 34: Cycling in 1887
     This volume observed that riding via tricycle and bicycle both by women and men “is by far the most recent of all sports in the Badminton Library of Sports and Pastimes.  There is none which has developed more rapidly in the last few years.” With its 400,000 participants, “England may be looked upon as the Home of Cycling.”  One bicyclist had recently raced 146 miles in only ten hours.  As Dr. Thomas Huxley reminded the Royal Society: “Since the time of Achilles no improvement had added anything to the speed or strength attainable by the unassisted powers of man.” W.L.A.

     Albemarle, William Coutts Keppel, Earl of. Cycling. (Badminton Library of Sports and Pastimes). London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1887, frontispiece. 796.6Al1c