Fun without a television? *GASP* Horrors, you say?
In the Victorian Era, where much of Steampunk is set, entertainments in the home were very much a DIY experience.
Part of what I love about Historical Fiction and Speculative Fiction is research… love it… nerd-like love… oh, who am I kidding! NERD LOVE…
So, I thought I share some of the home entertainments discussed in my Peterson’s Magazine from 1888. Why this issue? ‘Cause It’s at my desk and I’m LAZY tonight 😀
Anywho… this is from pages 178-179 FIRESIDE GAMES
Games for Winter Evenings – We give a game or two more, for amusement on winter evenings. The “Magic Answer” is a game much liked. There are two ways of playing it, and it requires two confederates; one leaves the room and the company decides upon the name of any person they please; on being recalled, the other confederate puts the question, and asks “Is it So-and-so?” naming a different person each time. The answer is “no,” until the right person has been named, when it is “yes.” The simple trick consists in always naming a person with white hair before the name of the person agreed upon. The correct answer creates much surprise as to how it has been arrived at.
– they say there are two ways of playing it… but um… they only gave us one way… *tsk tsk*
– the other thing is that they may not have explained it fully… the ‘company’ doesn’t know it’s a trick… needless to say the ‘tell’ changes depending upon the company… a room full of people with white hair will need something different
“Birds” is a rather fun game, if it is well played. Four or five ladies out of the company each choose the name of a bird, and whisper it to the gentlemen who is to sell them. Any of the company offers to buy a bird, and asks for the one he wants; the amusement consists in the badinage which passes between the birdseller and the purchasers, and the guesses as to which of the ladies is intended by the birds described; children and young people enjoy this game, and the description of the birds are made as apropos as possible.
– I wonder how much flirting went on with this game… would the ladies choose their birds for a reason? What if it was a bird that had special meaning for the object of their affections. Would they choose the bird hoping that he will ask for that very bird? Ah… romance… or frustration as may have happened!
More from the home entertainments of Victorians… NEXT time 😀