Reviews Cropper, Corry. Playing at Monarchy: Sport as Metaphor in Nineteenth-Century France. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2008. Pp. 247. isbn 978-0-8032-1773-7 Jennifer Forrest, Texas State UniversitySan Marcos There have been many scholarly studies on the working classes and leisure time in the last quarter of the nineteenth century (in great part the result of improved working conditions and salaries), and on nineteenth-century social theories and programs that often aimed to improve the physical (and by extension, moral) health of the potentially unruly working class body. As regards the latter, repeated efforts from the latter half of the century to make sports an essential part of secondary education, and later of primary education, however, foundered, the primary reasons being lack of resources for equipment and insufficient space. As for workers, they drifted more towards entertainment in their leisure time than toward sports, since improved working conditions did not yet translate into 40-hour workweeks. When sports did become available to the masses, it was a question of organized sports like football and rugby. Until then, however, sport remained an activity for people with the means for purchasing equipment and maintaining memberships in clubs devoted to a particular sport. Robert
Nineteenth Century French Studies – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Sep 23, 2009
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