Blind Man’s Bluff

Either a man or woman is blind-folded. Another player is placed in a chair. The blindfolded person must use their hands to touch and feel the other person to figure out who they are. Some versions cite turning the blindfolded player around three times, and then the first person they touch is the person they feel to figure out who it is.

Le Baiser à la Capucine

A French kissing game (roughly translates to The Kiss in the Alcove), called “Guessing the Kiss” in English. A man and a woman were to try to kiss on the mouth as they turned their backs and held hands. I couldn’t find more defined rules for the game than that. It is referred to as being played in salons (clearly somewhat scandalous)

Charades

Self explanatory, played as we play it today.

Hide and Seek

Self explanatory, played as we play it today.

Shades

A person sat with a candle outlining their profile – casting a shadow onto a blank piece of paper. The other player would then trace their profile. This could be quite funny depending the shapes of the shadows and if a person was making a funny face.

Snapdragon

(I obviously do not recommend this game for onstage purposes, but I couldn’t help but include it) Raisins were placed in a bowl of heated sherry and then set on fire. The object of the game was to pluck the raisins out and eat them without getting burned. Popular during the winter and on Christmas Eve.

Bouts-Rimes

Players would have to come up with impromptu rhymes. There was a preset list of rhyming words, and each player would have to come up with a verse to go with the words. Also called Wit.

Word Games

The Austen family enjoyed word games. This particular verse was written by Jane’s mother, Cassandra Austen, using the preset words: verse, sorrow, hearse, purse and tomorrow.

Why d’you ask me to scribble in verse

When my heart’s full of trouble and sorrow?

The cause I will briefly rehearse,

I’m in debt, with a sad empty purse,

And the bailiffs will seize me tomorrow.

Bullet Pudding

In a letter, Fanny Austen Knight (A niece of Jane’s) describes playing the game Bullet Pudding: “I was surprised that you did not know what a Bullet Pudding is but as you don’t I will endeavor to describe it as follows: You must have a large pewter dish filled with flour which you must pile up into a sort of pudding with a peak at the top, you must then lay a Bullet at the top & everybody cuts a slice of it & the person that is cutting it when the Bullet falls must poke about with their nose & chins till they find it & then take it out with their mouths which makes them strange figures a covered with flour but the worst is that you must not laugh for fear of the flour getting up your nose & mouth & choking you. You must not use your hands in taking the bullet out.”

Oranges and Lemons

Played like London Bridges, players travel under arched hands and try to avoid capture at the end of the song (lyrics below).

Oranges and Lemons,

Say the bells of St. Clements,

You owe me five farthings,

Say the bells of St. Martins,

When will you pay me?

Say the bells of Old Bailey,

I do not know,

Says the great bell of Bow.

 

Games gathered from:

http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/rgnclfil.html

http://historyundressed.blogspot.com/2009/06/regency-games.html

http://femme.planet.fr/pratiques-sexuelles-le-tour-du-monde-des-baisers.18259.1199.html?page=0,8 (in French)

http://www.cosmovisions.com/jeux/gage.htm (in French)

http://www.janeausten.co.uk/charades-and-bullet-pudding/

And All Things Austen, volume I by Kirsten Olsen

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