In Part 1 of this post we looked at how the people of the Georgian era entertained themselves indoors using cards, dice, and with board games. In Part 2, we look at Georgian era Parlor Games and other “entertainments”.
Entertainments – Parlor Games and Other Pastimes
Artistic accomplishments were valued in a lady, who, according to period expectations, should be educated, but not so much as to be threatening to her husband. As a result, many young women devoted a good part of their time to drawing and painting with common subjects being landscapes and portraits. Drawing could be a form of group entertainment, as the artist’s friends and family might watch her at work if they were not serving as her models.
Blind Man’s Buff is a children’s game played as early as 2,000 years ago in Greece. In the Middle Ages, blind man’s buff was an adult game, and the blindfolded player was usually struck and buffeted as well, hence “buff.” A player touched or caught by the blind man takes on the blindfold, although sometimes the blind man must guess the identity of his captive before the removing the blindfold. If the guess is wrong, the blind man must release the captive and the game continues.
The game has been popular among adults on and off throughout history. The game has been played in England since the Tudor period, when there are references to Henry VIII’s courtiers playing it. During the 17th Century, the English diarist Samuel Pepys reported a game played by his wife and some friends in 1664. Art from the 18th and early 19th centuries shows the game continuing to be popular with adults throughout the era.
Buffy Gruffy is a substitute for Blind man’s buff for those occasions where you do not want the racket of the legitimate Blind Man’s Buff, having your toes trod on, or your furniture bruised and battered. One player, with a blindfold over the eyes, stands in the middle of the room. The others arrange their chairs in a circle and silently trade places. Someone claps to start the game. The blindfolded person passes around the chairs and stops in front of one. The player may use his knees to decide if someone is sitting in that chair, since physical contact is not permitted in polite society, especially between gentlemen and ladies this was quite “stimulating” . Continue reading