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Victorian Era Entertainment

Victorian Era is known for the vast developments that took place changing the political and economic structure of England.

Entertainment through predominantly seen, its forms differed according to the social class of a person. Entertainment was different for women, men and children. Certain forms of entertainment were only enjoyed by men. Some men indulged in sports activities like cockfight and rat pits while things like drinking, gambling and billiards ever all time favourite.

Entertainment with Games

There were men who played card games like poker to the extent of losing their wages. This habit of the men, who were the only earning members of the large families, forced the entire family to make extra efforts to preserve whatever little they had. Men played outdoor games like tennis, shooting, cricket, and fishing.

Victorian era entertainment games

Women coming from well-to-do families participated in charitable events. The working hours during the 19th century took a toll on the entertainment aspect in the womens life. Since the pay was less not many could afford it. The sports activities of women were restricted to skating and croquet.

Some of them had even mastered the art of archery and rode horses. From the late 1800s to the early 1900s, men and women actively participated in sports. Women began playing golf, cricket, swimming and other sports that was dominated by the men.

Croquet and Lawn was played by men and women together. The invention of bicycles in 1881, gave more freedom of movement to the women though it was criticized by many people that it was inappropriate for a woman to ride a bicycle. Special clothing safe and comfortable for riding like the Bloomers was introduced.

Children brought up in the cities had different forms of entertainment than the country-bred children. In cities, children were permitted to play only after the household work was done. Most of them had to play indoors until the time some adult was free to take them outside. This was a precautionary measure adopted by parents as they felt unsafe to let the child go out alone.

It was thought that the child might become like the street children. On the other hand, countryside children had wider options to choose from activities like swimming to riding ponies, etc. Games like marbles, jacks, mumbly-peg, checkers and backgammon were commonly played by boys. Girls played with dolls, learned knitting, and created scrapbooks.

check out the history of Steeplechasing.

Continue to entertainment part 2