I should say at this early juncture that I am not and have never been a lady who liked a flutter. I know that some people positively thrive on gambling and games of chance and though I don't count myself among them, I was delighted to receive a beautifully produced, slim volume from my colonial gentleman. The volume was The Georgian Art of Gambling by Claire Cock-Starkey and it is a book that I hugely recommend to fans of the 18th century, whether gamblers or not!
From the highest to the lowest, the Georgians just loved to gamble and this book takes readers on a whistle-stop tour of the peculiarly 18th century craze. Within its pages you will find stories of houses that rose and fell on the role of a die, learn of some of the most famed practitioners of the day and find out more about how the authorities and moral campaigners tried to stem the craze. There are famous names and less well known ones too, as well as a look into some of the ways those who ran the gaming houses could do at least try to steer things their way.
Perhaps, if you are feeling like a few games yourself over the festive period, you might like to try one or two Georgian favourites around the dinner table. If so, Cock-Starkey offers rules for several favourites of the era, though there are plenty of cautionary tales to warn you off too.
In all honesty, I love this book. The design is appealing, the content fresh and engaging and as a research tool, it's great value. Whether you like a flutter or not, I encourage you to give it a go!