Discovering Old Board Games

Front Cover
Bloomsbury USA, Oct 21, 2008 - Games & Activities - 80 pages
This book contains descriptions of sixty board games, drawn from an immense range of history - from 3000 BC through to the turn of the nineteenth century. Accounts of these games have been gleaned from archaeological reports, traveler's tales, anthropological studies and foreign-language accounts of games, translated into English for the first time. Using the detailed text and fifty-nine diagrams it is possible for the reader to construct their own boards and pieces and enjoy hours of play. Perfect for toy and game collectors, this book can also bring something different to family occasions - instead of the usual board games, why not play a number game that was once popular among the intelligentsia of the middle ages?

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This book is difficult to follow at points. It doesn't have a very consistent style and it goes from historical anecdotes to vague descriptions of board games. Oftentimes the descriptions leave you wondering if you really understand how to play the game at all. Google and Wikipedia help with this sometimes.
Overall I find this book very exciting and I want to make a board and play these old games with anybody who will take the time. If you make a few leaps and read over the instructions a handful of times eventually you'll be able to pick up how to play each one. I haven't read other books like this so I'm fine with what I have.
If anything, the book works as a good starting point for researching some of the games further on the internet.

About the author (2008)

The late R. C. Bell was born in 1917 in Sudbury, Ontario, and came to England in 1928. He qualified MB BS (London) in 1941. He became a plastic surgeon but is now retired. He has a large collection of old games and has written five books in the Shire Discovering series.

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