Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Victorian Culture: Cricket - The playing fields of Eton

Eton vs. Haverford, 1896

The Duke of Wellington said "The battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton." Whatever the truth there was in this, many of his countrymen believed it. Sports, particularly team sports, cricket and football, were considered essential to a young man's education. A boy at Eton, Harrow, or Rugby faced punishment if he did not participate.

Many British officers, such as Kipling's friend General Dunterville ("Stalky"), believed that they had a special rapport with their men, unknown in other countries

Stoddard, W.H. (2000) - Gurps Steampunk, pg. 53, SJG:Austin
[edited for removal of game specific content]

I have included a few photos of my cricket-playing days..

Walking off the pitch, after suffering an indignity as
Caledon lost yet another test, 239/6!

Photo at Eton, for the scrapbook!

If you wish further information about cricket - mostly for colonials... please go to:

1 comment:

Virrginia Tombola said...

Well, I don't look at your blog for a few days, and return to see pages of historical essays! Wonderful writing, Doctor.

Re: Caledon Cricket--a while ago (which in SL, means over a week), Sir ArthurConan Doyle had mentioned he was trying to field a cricket team for Babbage. I think Mr. Oolon Sputnik was similarly interested on the Caledon side. The only trouble is that there was no "scripted game" just yet. You might wish to speak to the gentlemen and see if progress has been made in that regard.

I, for one, would love to see a few sporting teams about the place. Keeps the lads trim, and occasionally out of trouble.