The Traditional Games of England, Scotland, and Ireland (Vol 1 of 2): With Tunes, Singing-Rhymes and Methods of Playing etc.


presented an unexpected obstacle to its completion. To print the whole in one alphabet would be more than could be accomplished except by the active co-operation of a willing band of workers, and then the time required for such an undertaking, together with the cost, almost seemed to debar the hope of ever completing arrangements for its publication. Nevertheless, unless we have a scientific arrangement of the enormously scattered material and a close comparison of the details of each item of folk-lore, it is next to impossible to expect that the full truth which lies hidden in these remnants of the past may be revealed. During my preparation of a book of games for children it occurred to me that to separate the whole of the games from the general body of folk-lore and to make them a section of the proposed dictionary would be an advantageous step, as by arranging the larger groups of folk-lore in independent sections the possibility of publishing the contemplated dictionary again seemed to revive. Accordingly, the original plan has been so far modified that these volumes will form the first section of the dictionary, which, instead of being issued in one alphabet throughout, will now be issued in sections, each section being arranged alphabetically. The games included in this collection bear the important qualification of being nearly all Children’s Games: that is to say, they were either originally children’s games since developed into games for adults, or they were the more serious avocations of adults, which have since become children’s games only. In both cases the transition is due to traditional circumstances, and not to any formal arrangements. All invented games of skill are therefore excluded from this collection, but it includes both indoor and outdoor games, and those played by both girls and boys. The bulk of the collection has been made by myself, greatly through the kindness of many correspondents, to whom I cannot be sufficiently grateful. In every case I have acknowledged my indebtedness, which, besides being an act of justice, is a guarantee of the genuineness of the collection. I have appended to this preface a list of the collectors, together with the counties to which the games belong; but I must particularly thank the Rev. W. Gregor, Mr. S. O. Addy, and Miss Fowler, who very generously placed collections at my disposal, which had been prepared before they knew of my project; also Miss Burne, Miss L. E. Broadwood, and others, for kindly obtaining variants and tunes I should not otherwise have received. To the many versions now printed for the first time I have added either a complete transcript of, where necessary, or a reference to, where that was sufficient, printed versions of games to be found in the well-known collections of Halliwell and Chambers, the publications of the Folk-lore and Dialect Societies, Jamieson’s, Nares’, and Halliwell’s Dictionaries, and other printed

Alice Bertha Gomme

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