Sport and Culture in Early Modern Europe
Edited by John McClelland and Brian Merrilees
Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies, 2010
Despite their importance to Baldassare Castiglione and Sir Thomas Elyot, the athletic games of early modern Europe have traditionally received little attention from academics. At the beginning of the twentieth century, a few writers of an antiquarian bent (J.-J. Jusserand, William Heywood, and Christina Hole) published trade books that surveyed the subject, but only since 1980 have scholarly studies been devoted to knightly tournaments, Renaissance ball games, and the set of physical sports and recreations that were intrinsic to the lifestyle of the courtier and the upwardly mobile bourgeoisie. This volume deals with a wide range of sports from the thirteenth through the seventeenth century. The articles show that early modern sports were not isolated, discrete pursuits, but rather, thoroughly integrated into the social, intellectual, religious, technological, and literary frameworks of their time.