In the time of the wily Victorians, summertime meant CROQUET! The outdoor game involved hitting wooden balls with a long-handled wooden mallet through “wickets” [bent metal hoops jammed into the ground] on a grass playing court.
And according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, “the oldest document bearing the word ‘croquet’ is the ‘set of rules’ registered by Isaac Spratt in November, 1856 with the Stationers’ Company in London.” But records also reflect a similar game called “crookey” being played at Castlebellingham, a village in County Louth, Ireland as far back as 1835. And by 1860, croquet had become one of the most popular social spring/summer/fall pastimes in England.
Throughout the years, the number of ‘wickets’ were added or detracted, but the game’s simple outline has remained. Knock the little round ball through the wicket course, ’til reaching the final stake.
Of course, along the way, the ladies & gents would send their opponent’s ball off course with a well-placed strike. And there were dozens of terms bandied about when they played the game, among them were: Run a hoop – to send the striker’s ball through a wicket; Double tap – a fault in which the mallet makes more than one audible sound when it strikes the ball; or even a Triple peel – to send a ball other than the striker’s ball through its last three hoops, and then peg it out at the end of the course. Indeed, so many phrases made (and still make) this lawn game of skill an exciting pastime of summer!
An Unlikely Hero
AN UNLIKELY HERO (book three in the bestselling ‘The Cutteridge Family’ series)
He’s a hard-as-stone man with a broken past…and she’s a reminder of all he’s lost.
Rugged army scout Dillon Reed has met his match in spoiled Boston debutante Alma Talmadge, but an unwanted assignment escorting the beauty across the wilds of America soon evolves into a journey of monumental change for them both. With killers hot on their trail, the odds of staying alive are stacked against them…and yet, falling in love was nowhere in their plans for survival.
Say hello to Bestselling Historical Romance writer, CINDY NORD…author of NO GREATER GLORY, book one in her bestselling, award-winning four-book ‘The Cutteridge Family’ series, a USA Today Lifeblog ‘Recommended Read’, as well as the #1 Civil War Romance at Amazon for over one full year! WITH OPEN ARMS, book two, as well as #1 bestselling western historical romance, continues the journey of characters that appeared in the first novel. And book three, AN UNLIKELY HERO, just debuted on July 1st, and by that evening had surged onto the coveted ‘Top 100 Romances at Amazon’ list thxs to her beloved readers. She is now hard-at-work crafting BY ANY MEANS, book four in her series, which is set to debut the winter of 2017. Cindy is also honored to be a contributor alongside many NYTimes writers in the delightful non-fiction anthology SCRIBBLING WOMEN & THE REAL-LIFE ROMANCE HEROES WHO LOVE THEM [all proceeds from the sale of this book go to the ‘Women In Need’ shelter in NYC]. A member of numerous writers groups, Cindy’s work has finaled or won countless times in competitions — including the prestigious Romance Writers of America National Golden Heart Contest. A luscious blend of history and romance, her love stories meld both genres around fast-paced action and emotionally driven characters.
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Delilah! Thx you so much for the kind invitation to visit your lovely blog site! You know me, I love all things Victorian…even CROQUET! And summertime makes for great lawn games, but I will always enjoy this one, loved so much by our foremothers, the most!! Kindest regards… 😉 ~ Cindy
Long. Live. Historical. Romance.