Historical Games
open book

These are the sources cited in the rest of the website. If you're curious, they have more details about the games described here as well as other interesting games.

Each historical period also has its own bibliography section with some additional information about life in each period. Many of them were written for kids, but I recommend those books for adults, too. For one thing, kids' books are good for getting an introduction to a topic, and for another, they include more pictures. Pictures are not only good for getting a better understanding of what the book is talking about, but they're great for planning costumes for a party.

Hope you've enjoyed the games and the site!


Beaver, Patrick. Victorian Parlor Games. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc., Publishers, 1974.

Bolton, Lesley. The Everything Games Book. Avon, MA: Adams Media, 2005.

Burns, Brian, ed. The Encyclopedia of Games. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1998.

The Diagram Group. The Way to Play. New York: Paddington Press Ltd., 1975.

Greenaway, Kate. Kate Greenaway's Book of Games. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1987.

Grunfeld, Frederic V., ed. Games of the World. New York: Ballantine Books, 1975.

Hofer, Margaret K. The Games We Played: The Golden Age of Board and Table Games. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2003.

The Key to Hoyle's Games. Ottenheimer Publishers, Inc., 1968.

McCutcheon, Marc. Everyday Life in the 1800s: A Guide for Writers, Students & Historians. Cincinnati, OH: Writer´┐Żs Digest Books, 1993.

Morehead, Albert H. and Geoffrey Mott-Smith, eds. Hoyle's Rules of Games. New York: New American Library, Inc., 1963.

Parlett, David. The Oxford History of Board Games. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Provenzo, Asterie Baker and Eugene F. Provenzo, Jr. Play It Again. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1981.

Schlereth, Thomas J. Victorian America: Transformations in Everyday Life. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 1991.

Other Game Books

The Editors of Klutz Press. The Klutz Book of Card Games for Sharks and Others. Palo Alto, CA: Klutz Press, 1990.

This book came with a set of playing cards and contains the rules for many different card games, including Old Maid, Hearts, Poker, and various solitaire games.

Kalman, Bobbie. Games From Long Ago. New York: Crabtree Publishing Company, 1995.

This book came describes a number of indoor and outdoor games that were popular in North America during the 1800s.

Love, Brian. Great Board Games. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc.: 1979

This book contains the rules, game boards, and pieces for games that were commercially-made between 1895 and 1955. Many of the games were ones that were shown or discussed in Hofer's The Games We Played. Now, you can play them yourself! Victorian era games in this collection include: Game of the Man in the Moon, Chivalry, Transvaal (a Fox and Geese variant), Game of Baseball, The Game of Playing Department Store, Office Boy, and Round the World with Nellie Bly.

Sackson, Sid and the Editors of Klutz Press. The Book of Classic Board Games. Palo Alto, CA: Klutz Press, 1991.

This book came with two sets of playing pieces (black and white glass pieces) and a pair of dice so that readers could play on the game boards provided in the book. Among the games included are Checkers, Asalto (under the name Dalmation Pirates and the Volga Bulgars), Solitaire (the board game version), Halma (under the name Hoppers) and Backgammon.

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