The Lore of the Playground: One hundred years of children's games, rhymes and traditions

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Random House, Oct 31, 2010 - History - 576 pages

From conkers to marbles, from British Bulldog to tag, not forgetting 'one potato, two potato' and 'eeny, meeny, miny, mo', The Lore of the Playground looks at the games children have enjoyed, the rhymes they have chanted and the rituals and traditions they have observed over the past hundred years and more.

Each generation, it emerges, has had its own favourites - hoops and tops in the 1930s, clapping games more recently. Some pastimes, such as skipping, have proved remarkably resilient, their complicated rules carefully handed down from one class to the next. Many are now the stuff of distant memory. And some traditions have proved to be strongly regional, loved by children in one part of the country, unknown to those elsewhere. All are brilliantly and meticulously recorded by Steve Roud, who has drawn on interviews with hundreds of people aged from 8 to 80 to create a fascinating picture of all our childhoods.


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Fascinating meander through the history of childrens playground games. Lots of memories of games played in the pastsome that I thought were unique to my school weren't Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Steve Roud has been researching British folklore for over thirty years and is the joint author of the Oxford Dictionary of English Folklore, plus other books on traditional drama and folk song. He also compiles the Folk Song Index and the Broadside Index, two internationally known computer databases of traditional folk and popular song. He served as Honorary Librarian of the Folklore Society for over fifteen years. He lives in Sussex.

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