By J. A. Mangan
In a time of exceptional political and monetary transformation, the center periods of Victorian and Edwardian England grew to become imperative gamers in a brand new social order. Nowhere did their tradition, values and id achieve clearer expression than of their activities, and their impression remains to be felt within the means we organise, play and ponder game this day. A Sport-Loving Society offers a variety of groundbreaking essays from the journals that have outlined activity historical past over the last 3 many years. those essays discover the position of the social associations and problems with the Victorian and Edwardian sessions in shaping the activities of the English heart periods, together with: schooling the emancipation of ladies faith tradition and sophistication international relations and conflict. Showcasing the paintings of well-known game historians, this ebook demonstrates the price of game as a motor vehicle for the research of wider social switch.
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Extra resources for A Sport Loving Society: Victorian and Edwardian Middle-Class England at Play (Sport in the Global Society, 46)
83 But the line between ‘respectable’ and ‘rough’ was not a sharp divide, but a continuum, and one which sometimes transcended class divisions in a sporting context, just as it did with regard to visits to prostitutes, drinking or betting. 84 Secondly, even though spectatorship at many events was socially zoned, and some sports were socially exclusive, it is quite clear that some cross-class mixing still occurred at many sporting events. It is possible to overstress the working-class nature of crowds.
Such meetings were carefully staged and manipulated to ‘demonstrate’ public backing and help what might be a vociferous minority appear the moral majority. So we may well have exaggerated both the status and influence of sporting respectability, and the reformist attacks on sports. 51 There were certainly attempts by reformist groups to use the three strands of religious instruction, education, and the encouragement of appropriate patterns of leisure on the working classes. Yet how deep the penetration of such ‘moral imperialism’ actually went even within the working classes is unclear, especially given the counter-tensions of social Prologue: Setting the scene 21 exclusivity.
Some clubs and sports were undoubtedly bastions of exclusivity. 101 Such sports were largely confined to the upper-middle classes, largely through cost and access criteria. But not all the middle class felt threatened by the working-class presence. By contrast both the Scottish middle and working classes took part in cricket, whilst bowls and angling were much more clearly cross-class, and there were middle-class participants in the sports of football, athletics and quoits. We now need English research on a regional basis on similar lines.