The origins of the Field Game

The first written rules for the game, from the Keepers' Book, 1847 At Eton, boys were largely left to their own devices when it came to sport, deciding for themselves what games they would play and the rules of those games. These are the first written rules for the Field Game, one of two versions... Continue Reading →

Taking a cold shower

Image from the Book of the Society of Psychrolutes In 1828, a new society was founded in Cambridge, dedicated to swimming. Called the Society of Psychrolutes, the qualification for membership was the practice of bathing outdoors between November and March. In 1832, the Eton Royal Philolutic Society was established, for the lovers of bathing in... Continue Reading →

Mad scientist

Recently digitised for the archives are two superbly illustrated notebooks kept by Guy Speir (HEL, 1893) of his science lessons with Dr Thomas Porter. These are a rare example of class work, and it is wonderful to see the imaginative drawings which Speir has added afterwards. Thomas Porter taught science at Eton from 1885 until 1930. Science... Continue Reading →

Chintz cloth bindings

Victorian chintz publisher’s bindings are quite a rare find because they were (some may say - thankfully) a very short-lived fashion. One of the few examples, and possibly the most famous, written about in this interesting piece by the V&A here, is the deluxe version of Beatrix Potter’s The tale of Squirrel Nutkins for which... Continue Reading →

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